Archive for the ‘capitalism’ Category

Warren Buffett and his American dollars for Canadian doughnuts

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

My latest at Da Tech Guy Blog, Warren Buffett and his American dollars for Canadian doughnuts, on the newest tax exile, is up.

Please read it and contribute to Da Tip Jar!

Lights out

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, we may have stumbled into the only way to profit and make money in the Obama economy.

How idiocy innovation killed the lights

IN WINCHESTER, VA. The last major GE factory making ordinary incandescent light bulbs in the United States is closing this month, marking a small, sad exit for a product and company that can trace their roots to Thomas Alva Edison’s innovations in the 1870s.

The remaining 200 workers at the plant here will lose their jobs.

Guess where those jobs are going?

China?

Hell yeah!

Now think about this:

  • the fluorescents are more expensive,
  • last very little time (I’ve had to change the fluorescents here at casa de Fausta twice, even when they are supposed to last “as long as seven years”)
  • they make you look like death warmed over
  • they are legislated in the cause of global warming, which is a scam to begin with
  • and it’s costing thousands of American jobs here in the USA.

What is there not to love? It’s the perfect setup for a black market! Go forth and find yourself some incandescents to peddle.

And then,
Watch For It – The Mexican Incandescent Light Bulb Cartel. Nah, I say it’s a home-grown black market opportunity.

22874

Che Bull

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

A spinoff of Red Bull? Or just more bull?

Che for sale:

Also, this is a photo-opportunity for the likes of us to remind ourselves, yet again, just what a bastard this particular bastard was, and just how stupid it is that so many people still worship him.

21711

Beware of Greeks selling bonds

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Robert Samuelson enumerates what may possibly be the best thing about the Greek financial crisis:
The Welfare State’s Death Spiral

What we’re seeing in Greece is the death spiral of the welfare state. This isn’t Greece’s problem alone, and that’s why its crisis has rattled global stock markets and threatens economic recovery. Virtually every advanced nation, including the United States, faces the same prospect. Aging populations have been promised huge health and retirement benefits, which countries haven’t fully covered with taxes. The reckoning has arrived in Greece, but it awaits most wealthy societies.
[snip]
The welfare state’s death spiral is this: Almost anything governments might do with their budgets threatens to make matters worse by slowing the economy or triggering a recession. By allowing deficits to balloon, they risk a financial crisis as investors one day — no one knows when — doubt governments’ ability to service their debts and, as with Greece, refuse to lend except at exorbitant rates. Cutting welfare benefits or raising taxes all would, at least temporarily, weaken the economy. Perversely, that would make paying the remaining benefits harder.

Greece illustrates the bind. To gain loans from other European countries and the International Monetary Fund, it embraced budget austerity. Average pension benefits will be cut 11 percent; wages for government workers will be cut 14 percent; the basic rate for the value added tax will rise from 21 percent to 23 percent. These measures will plunge Greece into a deep recession. In 2009, unemployment was about 9 percent; some economists expect it to peak near 19 percent.

If only a few countries faced these problems, the solution would be easy. Unlucky countries would trim budgets and resume growth by exporting to healthier nations. But developed countries represent about half the world economy; most have overcommitted welfare states. They might defuse the dangers by gradually trimming future benefits in a way that reassured financial markets. In practice, they haven’t done that; indeed, President Obama’s health program expands benefits.

While Obama’s shoving government healthcare down our collective throats, the NYTimes is advising Greece to abandon socialized medicine:
The Bitter Pills in the Plan to Rescue Greece

Another reform high on the list is removing the state from the marketplace in crucial sectors like health care, transportation and energy and allowing private investment. Economists say that the liberalization of trucking routes — where a trucking license can cost up to $90,000 — and the health care industry would help bring down prices in these areas, which are among the highest in Europe.

Say what? You don’t hear the NYT give that advice to the US – even when the Obama administration is going down the Greek road:

Yes, a lot of “raise taxes” stuff in there too, but that’s because Greece has gotten so far down the road of guaranteeing a bunch of pricey while avoiding raising the tax rates, preferring to borrow and spend, so that the public is never alerted to the true costs of these programs until it’s too late, and the country must accept higher tax rates or go bankrupt.

Sound familiar? Seems to me there’s a very cool cat with nice pecs at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who has a similar agenda. Hide the costs of your programs in order to get them passed, and then, when it’s politically impossible to restrain those costs, tell the country you are sadly forced to raise taxes due to circumstances beyond your control.

As Jeff Goldstein points out,

The selfish gamble implicit in the welfare state is that, though most people know on some level that spending in excess of revenue isn’t a very fiscally responsible long-term plan on which to build a stable society, many are willing to bet that resources won’t run out in the short term — which means these types of voters believe they will still get theirs so long as they continue to “vote in their own economic interests.”

Future generations? Not their problem.

In the meantime, don’t buy Greek bonds. Or California‘s.

Beware of Greeks selling bonds

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Robert Samuelson enumerates what may possibly be the best thing about the Greek financial crisis:
The Welfare State’s Death Spiral

What we’re seeing in Greece is the death spiral of the welfare state. This isn’t Greece’s problem alone, and that’s why its crisis has rattled global stock markets and threatens economic recovery. Virtually every advanced nation, including the United States, faces the same prospect. Aging populations have been promised huge health and retirement benefits, which countries haven’t fully covered with taxes. The reckoning has arrived in Greece, but it awaits most wealthy societies.
[snip]
The welfare state’s death spiral is this: Almost anything governments might do with their budgets threatens to make matters worse by slowing the economy or triggering a recession. By allowing deficits to balloon, they risk a financial crisis as investors one day — no one knows when — doubt governments’ ability to service their debts and, as with Greece, refuse to lend except at exorbitant rates. Cutting welfare benefits or raising taxes all would, at least temporarily, weaken the economy. Perversely, that would make paying the remaining benefits harder.

Greece illustrates the bind. To gain loans from other European countries and the International Monetary Fund, it embraced budget austerity. Average pension benefits will be cut 11 percent; wages for government workers will be cut 14 percent; the basic rate for the value added tax will rise from 21 percent to 23 percent. These measures will plunge Greece into a deep recession. In 2009, unemployment was about 9 percent; some economists expect it to peak near 19 percent.

If only a few countries faced these problems, the solution would be easy. Unlucky countries would trim budgets and resume growth by exporting to healthier nations. But developed countries represent about half the world economy; most have overcommitted welfare states. They might defuse the dangers by gradually trimming future benefits in a way that reassured financial markets. In practice, they haven’t done that; indeed, President Obama’s health program expands benefits.

While Obama’s shoving government healthcare down our collective throats, the NYTimes is advising Greece to abandon socialized medicine:
The Bitter Pills in the Plan to Rescue Greece

Another reform high on the list is removing the state from the marketplace in crucial sectors like health care, transportation and energy and allowing private investment. Economists say that the liberalization of trucking routes — where a trucking license can cost up to $90,000 — and the health care industry would help bring down prices in these areas, which are among the highest in Europe.

Say what? You don’t hear the NYT give that advice to the US – even when the Obama administration is going down the Greek road:

Yes, a lot of “raise taxes” stuff in there too, but that’s because Greece has gotten so far down the road of guaranteeing a bunch of pricey while avoiding raising the tax rates, preferring to borrow and spend, so that the public is never alerted to the true costs of these programs until it’s too late, and the country must accept higher tax rates or go bankrupt.

Sound familiar? Seems to me there’s a very cool cat with nice pecs at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who has a similar agenda. Hide the costs of your programs in order to get them passed, and then, when it’s politically impossible to restrain those costs, tell the country you are sadly forced to raise taxes due to circumstances beyond your control.

As Jeff Goldstein points out,

The selfish gamble implicit in the welfare state is that, though most people know on some level that spending in excess of revenue isn’t a very fiscally responsible long-term plan on which to build a stable society, many are willing to bet that resources won’t run out in the short term — which means these types of voters believe they will still get theirs so long as they continue to “vote in their own economic interests.”

Future generations? Not their problem.

In the meantime, don’t buy Greek bonds. Or California’s.

20232

“What’s libertarianism?” asks John Stossel

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

John Stossel defines asks, What am I?

We know that conservatives want government to conserve traditional values. They say they’re for limited government, but they’re pro-drug war, pro-immigration restriction and anti-abortion, and they often support “nation-building.”

And so-called liberals? They tend to be anti-gun and pro-choice on abortion. They favor big, powerful government — they say — to make life kinder for people.

By contrast, libertarians want government to leave people alone — in both the economic and personal spheres. Leave us free to pursue our hopes and dreams, as long as we don’t hurt anybody else.

If you must pigeonhole me, consider me a libertarian capitalist – while defining capitalist as,

an advocate of capitalism

And capitalism?

Capitalism definition

An economic system based on a free market, open competition, profit motive and private ownership of the means of production. Capitalism encourages private investment and business, compared to a government-controlled economy. Investors in these private companies (i.e. shareholders) also own the firms and are known as capitalists.

Investopedia Commentary

In such a system, individuals and firms have the right to own and use wealth to earn income and to sell and purchase labor for wages with little or no government control. The function of regulating the economy is then achieved mainly through the operation of market forces where prices and profit dictate where and how resources are used and allocated. The U.S. is a capitalistic system.

Obviously the last sentence in the definition is outdated, since the US is no longer allowing the market forces to operate. The government is aggressively dictating where and how resources are used and allocated.

But yes, I’m a libertarian capitalist.

h/t Instapundit

Chile’s new prosperity: 15 Minutes on Latin America

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

In today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern,
Joining the developed countries, In Chile, many are optimistic that prosperity is coming

This week, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a club of rich nations that includes the United States, Japan and several European countries, formally invited Chile to join. Becoming the first South American nation in the 30-member group would be among the tangible signs of Chile’s steady rise since the 1980s, when it was in the grip of dictatorship.

“It’s a recognition of all the good things we’ve done,” Andrés Velasco, Chile’s finance minister, said in an interview last week.

Such a transition from developing to developed country last happened more than a generation ago — think Ireland and South Korea. No one is exactly sure of the timing for Chile. But economists say this country of 17 million will become the first Latin American country to switch categories sometime in the next decade.

Chile has posted Latin America’s fastest economic growth over a generation, and poverty has dropped from 45 percent before the demise of Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s government to a regional low of 14 percent today. But Giugale and other economists say Chile has advanced in areas more difficult to measure, such as strengthening state institutions like the courts and fighting corruption.

Chile also has a stable and robust democracy, ruled since 1990 by a coalition of Socialists and Christian Democrats that unseated Pinochet. The current president, Michelle Bachelet, has a popularity rate hovering at nearly 80 percent.

And though polls show that a conservative opposition businessman, Sebastian Piñera, may win the presidency in a January election, no one expects an overhaul of Chile’s economic system. Piñera, who won a first round of voting Sunday over the ruling coalition candidate, Eduardo Frei, has said he would not reduce government or roll back an extensive social safety net.

Good news from the region, for the region.

Related reading:
Change Chile Can Believe In
With conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera favored to win the presidency, the South American country is looking forward.

Related posts:
Chile now officially a developed country
Andres Velasco’s plan: Save for a rainy day

The vision of the annointed, Thomas Friedman version

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

In an Orwellian and disturbingly candid vision of “what’s good for you”, Thomas Friedman lays out his belief that China’s one-party autocracy is superior to the US’s political system because it has “great advantages.”

Well, yes, a totalitarian regime has the “great advantage” of totally crushing dissent and killing anyone who dares think otherwise. It can, for instance, kill millions of people during Mao’s Great March, Great Leap Forward, and Cultural Revolution. It can run mines that have the highest death rate in the world. It can tear down – overnight – historic districts to put up new high-rise buildings. It can open new coal electrical power plants without an iota of air pollution controls. Indeed, as Ed Morrissey points out,

Oh, those enlightened Chinese government officials! When they’re not executing people to harvest their organs, and when they’re not forcing women to have abortions to satisfy their one-child policy, and when they’re not tossing people in prison for political dissent, they have a great energy policy … even though they reject Kyoto and any attempt to hamstring themselves on economically-suicidal cap-and-trade policies.

If you are to believe Friedman, you would think China is the greenest country on earth, too:

It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.

Anyone who has visited China will tell you that it is one of the most poisonously polluted countries in the world.

But Friedman tells you because he knows better than you. His self-anointed vision enables him to tell you that whatever the Republicans may object to is a function of “ideological naysaying,” not of any well-reasoned objection, or, in Paul Mirengoff‘s words, “Political discourse is flat, or would be if autocrats would only impose Thomas Friedman’s way.” Indeed, a monstruous column.

Bill Whittle (via Instapundit eloquently describes A Tale of Two Revolutions: The War of Ideas & the Tragedy of the Unconstrained Vision. Listen to the entire video.

The fundamental difference between right and left — right including libertarians, left including everyone from Marxists to mainstream liberals — is how we see such problems being addressed, i.e. the role of government. For the Thomas Friedman types paralysis is proof of the need for more, stronger, bigger, better government. For most on the right, the paralysis is proof that we have too much government. Lawyers and bureaucrats aren’t the problem for the left. They think the problem are the citizens and businesses that resist progressive change.

Friedman’s vision comes from a complete disregard for the individual and for liberty. And there lies his blindness.

————————————

Also via Instapundit, Cato healthcare experts are liveblogging Obama’s healthcare speech.

Today at 10AM Eastern: King Banaian of SCSU Scholars

Friday, October 17th, 2008

UPDATE
You can listen to the podcast here

My podcast guest today is economist King Banaian of SCSU Scholars, who will be talking about Obama’s and McCain’s proposals for the economy.

Chat’s open at 9:45AM and the call in number is 646 652-2639. Join us!

Listen to Faustas blog on internet talk radio

Today at 10AM Eastern: John Tsarpalas of the Sam Adams Alliance

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Today at 10AM Eastern my podcast guest will be John Tsarpalas, president of The Sam Adams Alliance,

The Sam Adams Alliance inspires, trains, and links allies to advance economic and individual liberty through a strategic combination of new media tools and traditional communications.

The Alliance maintains three very important resources:
The Judgepedia Wiki,

a free, online, collaborative encyclopedia about America’s judges, judicial system, the law and, in general, all things related to the judiciary.

The Ballotpedia Wiki

a free, collaborative, online encyclopedia that focuses on ballots, ballot measures, ballot access for initiatives and candidates, petition drives, supporters and opponents of initiatives and, in general, all things ballot. It breaks down past and present ballot measures by state, year, and issue.

and The Sunshine Review

a collaborative project that acts as a customer service hot-line for government transparency and accountability. It helps people evaluate if their government websites proactively and voluntarily disclose information to the public and media.

In addition, Sunshine Review brings you breaking news about state spending and government corruption.

I had the pleasure of talking to John last week at the AFP summit. John talked about how the Sam Adams Alliance fills the capacity gap on the internet for free market solutions in a non-biased, neutral format. For instance, the judges wiki allows the public to find the records on judges so people can vote in an intelligent way.

The Alliance held a terrific workshop with panelists Emily Zanotti, Eric Odom and Alan Fuller.

When I asked John what can bloggers do in today’s environment, he asked back, “Other than change the world?”

“The mainstream media has let down America, and the bloggers are now filling in that role” and stated, “Americans for Prosperity and the Sam Adams Alliance will never have as much money as Soros, but we have people of principle.”

Chat’s open by 9:45AM and the call in number is 646 652-2639. Join us!

You can listen to the podcast here

Listen to Faustas blog on internet talk radio

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