Great Moments in Socialism

Socialism is an economic failure. International socialism didn’t work in the Soviet Union. National socialism didn’t work in Germany. And democratic socialism, while avoiding the horrors of its communist and Nazi cousins, also has been a flop.

Socialism fails because it attempts to replace market-determined prices with various forms of central planning based on government-dictated prices.

Moreover, socialism channels self interest in a destructive direction. In a free market, people get income and improve their lot in life by satisfying and fulfilling the needs of other people. In a socialist system, by contrast, people squabble over the re-slicing of a shrinking pie.

There’s a famous Winston Churchill quote that basically says that the ostensible problem with capitalism is that people aren’t equally rich, whereas the supposed attractiveness of socialism is that people get to be equally poor.

The Princess of the Levant sent me a visual version of Churchill’s quote, and it’s definitely worth sharing.

Liberals Balk At Paying Cost of “Living” Wage

labor living wage

As it turns out, liberals refuse to put their money where their mouths are…literally.

Earlier this year, labor unions in Los Angeles whipped up low-wage workers into a frenzy with demands for a minimum “living” wage of $15 per hour. They achieved their goal and the $15/hour wage bill was signed into law. This was supposed to be a huge victory for the workers (though, it should be noted, within days of the law going into effect, the same labor unions that lobbied for the $15/hour minimum wage were lobbying government for an exemption for union companies, so that union companies could pay well below the new minimum wage).

Even so, some California business owners decided to show solidarity with the cause of low-wage workers, significantly increasing their starting wage of their own volition.

Vic Gumper, owner of Lanesplitter Pizza (with stores in Albany, Berkeley, Oakland, and Emeryville, California), voluntarily raised wages for his employees to between $15 to $25 per hour. In order to cover the cost of the higher “living” wage, Gumper began advertising $30 “living wage pizzas” to his customers, which include patrons from the Pixar Animation Studios and biotech companies located near his shops. In doing so he declared these pizzas “sustainably served, really…no tips necessary”.

The result? Sales have dropped by 25% as liberals in these communities have balked at having to pony up more money for the pizzas. The hit has been so significant that Gumper has had to close during lunch hour at several locations (think about that…a restaurant that has to close during LUNCH because it can’t afford to stay open!).

Hillary Clinton, Mrs. Cellophane


There was a minute this morning when it appeared Hillary Clinton may have gotte a reprieve from her rather commanding domination of the news cycle since deciding to keep on being her by using a private server as Secretary of State.

Alas, it was not to be, because the nail-chewing drama of potentially another Black Friday had abated a bit by lunchtime and they were back to the new narrative: are the Democrats just plain tired of the Clintons? Or, in the new speak, are they soooooo over Hillary?

I had a little Twitter slap fight recently over the fact that my answer to that question, and to the question of whether she’ll outlast calls to investigate the blatant violations concerning her private server, are no and yes, respectively.

I don’t love it any more than you do, fellow conservatives, but she, in the words of the great Gloria Gaynor, will survive. How do I know? Two reasons: 1. I’ve seen enough in my short time running around this town to know that scandals go away with enough money and influence; and if you know how to couch your language, you’re in good shape. (“I did not send or recive anything that was classified at the time.”)

What Republicans Ought To Be Saying: ‘Puter Pens A Platform

Editor’s note: This was originally published at The Ancient & Noble Order of The Gormogons.


“Americans like hats, especially hats that say things. I will get the yuuuugest, classiest, most luxurious hat with the most words I can find, because I am Donald J. Trump. I’m a brilliant self-promoter, so I will then say profoundly simplistic and dumb-ass things that play to conservative grievances. America will then elect me president, because I’m a classy huckster in a luxurious hat who strokes their yuuuuuuge egos. My plan is genius, classy and foolproof.”


‘Puter’s tired of the Donald Trump Experience.* ‘Puter’s even more tired of media pretending Trump’s off-the-cuff ramblings are indicative of conservative ideology. ‘Puter’s most tired of the internecine, juvenile squabbling between the “Trump now, Trump tomorrow, Trump forever” and the sane portion of the Republican party.

So, in order to maintain his sanity, here’s a quick list of what responsible candidates should be saying on various issues.

Pope Francis Needs a Better Role Model for Economic Policy

Editor’s Note: This was originally published at Mitchell’s International Liberty.


What’s the greatest economic tragedy in modern history?

The obvious answer is communism, which produced tens of millions of needless deaths and untold misery for ordinary people. Just compare living standards in North Korea and South Korea, or Chile and Cuba.

But if there was a second-place prize for the world’s biggest economic failure, Argentina would be a strong contender.

Here’s one fact that tells you everything you need to know. In 1946, when Juan Perón came to power, Argentina was one of the 10-richest nations in the world. Economic policy certainly wasn’t perfect, but government wasn’t overly large are markets generally were allowed to function. Combined with an abundance of natural resources, that enabled considerable prosperity.

But Perón decided to conduct an experiment in statism.

Here’s how Wikipedia describes his economic policy.

Inverted Federalism: How Washington bribes and shackles your state with your own tax dollars

Conservatives and libertarians complain about the perversion of American federalism over the last 75-100 years. Everything has become a national issue, and federal tax dollars support even the smallest local projects, either directly through grants or indirectly by subsidizing some projects, which frees up local funds for others. Since the source is far removed from the recipient, often this funding is wasteful, not really needed, or dubiously requested. We don’t usually get to see this problem up close, but I did today.

This morning my wife and I brought my eldest child to school for the first time for testing and registration. There were a stack of forms to fill out about the handbook, riding the bus, behavior, school lunches, and residency. The last two were the focus of the registrant’s particular attention. We explained to her that while we are selling our house and planning to build a new one we are living with relatives temporarily. “Oh!”, she said. In that case, we should apply for a federal homeless student program “because it will bring in more federal money.”


We’re not actually homeless, though. Not even close. We live in a very nice home while its owners are out of town on business most of the time and until we build our own. But when confronted with this situation, a public school official’s first instinct was to turn it into a hardship case to take advantage of federal largesse.

Let’s Be Honest, Black Lives Don’t Matter

Black lives don’t matter.

I know. It’s horribly insensitive and politically incorrect to say so, but any objective assessment of reality reveals this is true. Or, to be more precise, black lives don’t matter to the race-baiting political opportunists and the liberal Democrat politicians who are always lecturing, preening, moralizing, and inciting anger and outrage in front of the nearest available TV camera.

Doubt me? Well, then look at the facts.

The #blacklivesmatter movement began in the wake of the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Martin was shot and killed after assaulting volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman (a “white Hispanic”, according to the New York Times), who witnesses testified was knocked to the ground and punched repeatedly by Martin, slamming his head over and over into the concrete. Michael Brown was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson, after Brown robbed a store, threatened the store owner, and assaulted Officer Wilson, attempting to take his gun after Wilson initially stopped only because Brown was walking down the middle of the street.

In both cases, the Obama White House sent several representatives to the funeral, and in both cases Obama expressed solidarity with the families, and lectured us on the history of American racism.

Free Online Gambling!

Sheldon Adelson watches a lion dance. | AP Photo

Why is it Americans have a fear of gambling - whether on sports or card games?

Is it rooted in the Puritan roots of the American colonies? Is it in response to the Mafia control of Atlantic City and Las Vegas in 1950s? Are we afraid of a repeat of the Black Sox scandal or discovering another Pete Rose? Or is it simply the will of the country’s 11th richest man using
his own particular brand of cronyism to protect his empire?

Regardless of the roots of the gambling ban, it is past time to put this fear into the history bins - next to the laws against horseless carriages going no faster than 12 miles an hour. Just as innovation helped improve auto passenger safety, progress and innovation will help solve the irrational fear of online gambling.


Marco Rubio’s Claim About Dodd-Frank at the GOP Debate Is Now A Thing

iStock 000016651896Small 2 300x199 What to Do When Your Bank Branch Closes There were 4 things I, personally, took away from the GOP debates yesterday.

1. Carly Fiorina may end up with a fairly responsible position should a Republican take office in 2016.

2. The whittling down process is going to be fun to watch, but only slightly less fun than listening to liberals and Democrats whine about these debates and how painful/annoying/useless/ugly/stupid/hateful/horrible and blah blah blah they are and how they yet somehow, still, can’t look away. All the feels for you. Really.

3. No one really cares about Trump and Trump really cares about no one.

4. The policy discussions will slowly emerge and the first one out of the gate (for me anyway) is Dodd-Frank, thanks to Marco Rubio.

Rather hilariously, Blake Hounshell of Politico wondered this aloud just after Rubio called for the repeal and replace of Dodd-Frank:

Well, I don’t know about Hounshell, but I had certainly heard it before. Here’s a bit from a US News & World Report piece back in January 2013:

Governors’ Greed — States Attempt to Recoup Costs for Failed Healthcare Exchanges

lawsuit oracle

Has Obama’s White House decided there is such a thing as “Free Lunch” or simply a return to the royal tradition of a monarch’s largesse?


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