Category Archives: Economy

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.

NEW COLUMN (UPDATED): Unmasking Statist, Socialist Propaganda About ‘Face Masks’

Argument, Capitalism, Democrats, Economy, Free Markets, Healthcare, Ilana Mercer, Political Economy, Propaganda, Reason, Regulation, Socialism, The State

NEW COLUMN is “Unmasking Statist, Socialist Propaganda About ‘Face Masks’. For fans of the site, it’s on Townhall.com, now, but also on WND.COM and The Unz Review, too.

As Townhall.com reader “defendingfreedom” exclaims, “What an excellent article! Interesting information about N95 masks and even better perspective about capitalism vs socialism.”

An excerpt:

Some clear thinking is required to counter incessant, statist propaganda against the use of N-95 filtering facepiece respirators, to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The message has been seconded at every turn by the Center for Disease Control, a cumbersome bureaucracy, which tightly controls both testing capacity and criteria. Such centralization is everywhere and always detrimental to the screening and segregating of the infected, and, ultimately, to disease containment.

The State and the agents of America’s highly centralized healthcare system categorically don’t want the citizen to purchase “face masks.” The surgeon general is already “warning Americans” to stop exercising their sovereignty as consumers and quit buying face masks.

Hence the incessant, near-neurotic discrediting of N-95 respirators, which, by previous CDC accounts, can be protective.

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, on its website, the CDC had asks and answered the following question:

“What makes N-95 respirators different from facemasks sometimes called surgical masks?:
“… N-95 respirators are tight-fitting respirators that filter out at least 95% of particles in the air, including large and small particles. … These respirators filter out at least 95% of very small (0.3 micron) particles. … including bacteria and viruses. … [thus reducing] the wearer’s exposure to airborne particles, from small particle aerosols to large droplets.”

By logical extension, properly made and fitted, the N-95 respirator is better than nothing and may certainly be protective. Here’s why:

While the coronavirus is indeed minuscule, smaller than 0.3 microns (likely between 0.1 and 0.2 microns), COVID-19 is delivered in a larger medium of bodily fluids or spray.

Certainly, some barrier to the spittle in which the coronavirus is dispersed is better than none.

No surprise then, that world health authorities can’t seem to get their story straight on masks. At times, they concede “that N-95 face masks are protective.” More frequently, they scratch the proverbial proboscis (ostensibly a sign of lying) and say “No, of course, they’re ineffective.” In other words, “they work for me, the healthcare worker, but not for thee.”

For honesty’s sake, the country’s health-care functionaries might appeal to consumers on the ground of dire shortages. But on the basis that no protection is better than some protection? Please!

In a free society in which the market for goods and services is free, the citizen, not a central planner, decides what purchase is in his best interest.

So, one must be especially stupid to allow a socialist like Bernie Sanders anywhere near the free market, in general, and that for surgical masks, respirators and other pandemic prophylactics, in particular.

Trust me: If the country’s health-care overlords could, they would prohibit people who want to wear N-95 respirators, during the COVID-19 pandemic, from purchasing these.

In their universe, masks are a zero-sum commodity. The more of them sovereign consumers purchase, the fewer remain for healthcare workers.

But that’s not how the glorious free market works.

Provided politicians, especially Sanders, stay out of it, here’s how the market for surgical face masks and respirators will work:

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 …

MORE glorious free-market economics in the NEW COLUMN. “Unmasking Statist, Socialist Propaganda About ‘Face Masks’ is on Townhall.com, now, but also on WND.COM and The Unz Review, too.

UPDATED (3/7/020):

Writes defendingfreedom @townhallcom: “What an excellent article! Interesting information about #N95 masks and even better perspective about #capitalism vs. #socialism.”

Writes: I always enjoy Ilana’s writing. She’s so refreshingly honest and says just how it is. This is another pearl of wisdom you need to think about, and ACT on her recommendations.”

“…the primary issue Ilana Mercer raises — the perfidiously mixed messages from the ‘authorities’ regarding the use of #N95Masks — is right on.”

Whereas I’m not a libertarian and the supply/demand/price issues I regard as secondary, the primary issue Ilana Mercer raises — the perfidiously mixed messages from the “authorities” regarding the use of N95 face masks — is right on.

In particular, the CDC & the surgeon general say that “only the infected people should wear them.” But the authorities ALSO say that the incubation period is 2 weeks and that one might be infectious BEFORE exhibiting the symptoms. Meaning that anyone potentially could be infected with Coronavirus AND that therefore everyone might benefit from wearing the mask. How’s this for a contradictory message.

So far I don’t wear a mask and I rely on my immune system, but I despise dishonest and/or incoherent directives from the “Authorities.”

Again, on that score Ilana is 100% correct.

I’m impressed with her courage to deal with politically incorrect topics and to speak the truth

  • I always enjoy Ilana’s writing. She’s so refreshingly honest and says just how it is.

    This is another pearl of wisdom you need to think about, and ACT on her recommendations.

 

UPDATED (2/26): Corona Virus: When In Doubt Just How Remiss YOUR Government Is, See What Israel Is Doing

China, Economy, Foreign Policy, Government, Healthcare, Israel, Nationhood

“Israel is among the countries that responded most dramatically to the Corona Virus outbreak; many others—the USA, for example—found mainly travel warnings to be sufficient.

When in doubt about just how remiss YOUR government is, see what Israel is doing—despite China being Israel’s second-largest trading partner, and despite its liberal “think tanks” advising otherwise.

Jerusalem Post:

… In recent weeks, Israel has closed its doors to more and more of eastern Asia, starting with China, continuing to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Thailand, and as of Sunday, South Korea and Japan, in response to the coronavirus’s spread through the continent and beyond. … “These countries have to understand our motivations. At this time, we have to take steps to defend Israel against the coronavirus, because public health is most important.”

Israeli non-thinking thank tank:

Jerusalem Institute for Security Studies researcher Alex Pevzner explained that “the government and people of China are very sensitive to their image and standing in the world. If Chinese citizens read that Israel closed off its borders to the Chinese, it reflects negatively on the [Israeli] government.” …

* Image courtesy Al Jazeera.Corona Virus outbreak: Israel blocks arrivals from Seoul.

UPDATE (2/26):

Israel has done the smartest thing re Corona: total ban on incoming travelers … “and blocked foreign travelers from ALL affected regions from entering. Here in the U.S., #CDC officials dodged questions on expanding travel restrictions and screening.” Israel is also ” … conducting boot camps to train hospital personnel in more rigorous infection control.”

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.