Capitalism

Should We Have A Capital Day?

capital_day.jpg

(Image from Progressive Libertarianism)

Today is Labor Day, that holiday created in the 1880s to celebrate workers and blue-collar labor.As a youngster,  I always found it quixotic, since doesn’t everyone labor somehow? It’s a holiday for everybody? But now I know what it really is about, and the new question I have is: Why not have a capital day?

With all the demonization of the 1% and industrialists in this day and age, it’s necessary to take a moment and remember just where we would be without capital: not very far. Foundation for Economic Education President Lawrence Reed explains it well:

Capital without labor means machines with no operators, or financial resources without the manpower to invest in. Labor without capital looks like Haiti or North Korea: plenty of people working but doing it with sticks instead of bulldozers, or starting a small enterprise with pocket change instead of a bank loan.

Capital can refer to either the tools of production or the funds that finance them. There may be no place in the world where there’s a shortage of labor but every inch of the planet is short of capital. There is no worker who couldn’t become more productive and better himself and society in the process if he had a more powerful labor-saving machine or a little more venture funding behind him. It ought to be abundantly clear that the vast improvement in standards of living over the past century is not explained by physical labor (we actually do less of that), but rather to the application of capital.

Let Me Show You Why Capitalism Is AWESOME

Diced Meat

Look at that. That is meat. Juicy, delectable, delicious, wonderful meat. It is the cornerstone of our existence, the very foundation of our diets (no matter what that silly treehugger food pyramid says. I mean, it’s a pyramid. Clearly it wasn’t intended for Americans.) You get it from animals. It is animals. That tends to make folks like PETA mad (the other PETA, I mean, not the People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.) This is something we just can’t see eye to eye on.

Until now.

See, a great guy named Peter Thiel—he got the very first Alumnus of the Year award from Students for Liberty this year—has decided to invest a ton of money in a new project that will create meat from a 3-D printer:

Billionaire Peter Thiel would like to introduce you to the other, other white meat. The investor’s philanthropic Thiel Foundation’s Breakout Labs is offering up a six-figure grant (between $250,00 and $350,000, though representatives wouldn’t say exactly) to a Missouri-based startup called Modern Meadow that is flipping 3-D bio-printing technology originally aimed at the regenerative medicine market into a means to produce 3-D printed meat.

Boehner Labels TARP Opponents “Knuckledraggers”

boehner

Over at RealClearPolitics, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has just called opponents to the 2007-2008 bailouts as “knuckledraggers,” by saying that Paul Ryan—who did vote for TARP—is not one.

Uh-huh.

Did Boehner just have a Joe Biden moment?

We can take this a few ways. We can first take it that it was genuine, honest-to-goodness mistake, and never meant to say that. But we can also take it as a real “Kinsley Gaffe,” defined as: “when a politician tells the truth - some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.”

What is this obvious truth, then? It’s not all that obvious, but it is the truth: the Republicans are not at all committed to a free market system, and instead want to wallow and embrace crony capitalism. They love taking money from taxpayers and giving it to their friends and cronies who run major banks and industries, giving them preferential treatment in the laws they craft and unfair advantages in the marketplace.

Oh, and “we had to do it to save our economy”? Yeah right. Lehman Brothers, the fourth-largest investment bank in the nation four years ago, collapsed in September 2008. The end result? It’s leftovers got bought out by Barclays and Nomura, and nothing else happened. There was no disaster. So all of this is just cover for the truth: he likes to rewards cronies and punish enemies.

How free market is that?

Who Needs Economic Freedom When You Can Vote?

As the debate over voter ID becomes demagogued by the left, LearnLiberty.org has a good video from Georgetown University Professor Jason Brennan about why economic freedoms should matter as much as the right to vote.

Being involved in a democratic process may be important, but the right to vote is not the same as giving someone control over his life. Without constitutional limitations which preserve our rights and liberty, efforts to expand voting participation almost always reduce personal autonomy.

Fauquier County Punishes Woman For…Hosting A Birthday Party

You’ve heard about counties shutting down children’s lemonade stands for no other reason than county officials are, well, I can’t print what they are. But in Fauquier County, Virginia, officials have decided to top that…by punishing a woman who hosted a ten year old’s birthday party:

This is the idiocy that we have to deal with. This is the kind of heartbreak and torture created by government regulation. I bet you dollars to donuts that what happened here is a combination of misguided do-gooders who want to keep people from accidentally ingesting food that may not be edible, combined with larger farms and agricultural businesses who cackled evilly at the chance to create yet another piece of red tape to shut down competitors.

Great going, Fauquier. Ruining children’s birthday parties. You deserve some sort of award. Considering the subject matter, I think it should come in the form of a giant bucket of cow crud.

Video from my friend Sean Malone, aka The Logicologist, who works on the Economic Freedom Project.

Super PAC Ad Depicts Allen West Punching White Women

With bold and often-controversial statements, Tea Party favorite Allen West has been a top target for Democrats nationally because of what he represents.

And if you thought egalitarian liberals were above good old-fashioned race baiting, then you should see this latest attack ad from The American Sunrise PAC:

According to The Shark Tank, the Super PAC was founded by the father of West’s opposition, Patrick Murphy. Thomas Murphy is the CEO of a construction firm, and gave $250,000 so far, which is an unimaginable number for a single donor in most congressional districts.

By showing West as a bully, he his hiting caucasion women IN THE FACE, while grabbing their money. Nevermind West is actually trying to end America’s fiscal recklessness while attempting to protect taxpayers’ dollars.

Politics is an ugly business, especially for conservatives who happen to be black.

Jobs Panel MIA? Good!

Barack Obama and Richard Trumka

The headline of a recent story in Politico reads “President Obama’s jobs panel missing in action”. My response to this? Good!:

President Barack Obama’s Jobs Council hasn’t met publicly for six months, even as the issue of job creation dominates the 2012 election.

At this point, the hiatus — which reached the half-year mark Tuesday — might be less awkward than an official meeting, given the hornet’s nest of issues that could sting Obama and the council members if the private-sector panel gets together.

[…]

The last official meeting of the 26-member President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness took place Jan. 17 in the White House complex. Obama and a slew of other administration officials attended, including his then chief of staff, Bill Daley.

Obama named General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt to head the panel in January of last year as the president tried to mend his frayed relationship with the business community and highlight his commitment to job creation. Part of the council’s political value was to show Obama working closely with top business leaders on behalf of the American people. But the White House insisted that the council’s recommendations would lead to real action.

The panel held three “quarterly” sessions last year with Obama: in February, June and October.

“This has not been a show council. This has been a work council,” Obama declared during the January 2012 session, where the panel presented a report containing more than 60 recommendations aimed at stimulating job creation.

For Choom, the Bell Tolls

In his new book, “Barack Obama: The Story,” biographer David Marannis delves into the details of a young Obama and his time in the “Choom Gang” at the Punahou School in Hawaii. The Choom Gang was a group consisting of Obama and some friends, the mission of which was to get high on marijuana as often as possible. As Marannis writes, Obama was already showing his leadership skills in starting a trend called “TA,” or “Total Absorption,” the purpose of which was to not “waste” any of the marijuana smoke by exhaling it, but rather to hold it in the lungs until it was fully absorbed.

Writes Marannis, “When you were with Barry and his pals, if you exhaled precious pakalolo (Hawaiian slang for marijuana, meaning “numbing tobacco”) instead of absorbing it fully into your lungs, you were assessed a penalty and your turn was skipped the next time the joint came around.” Considering the complete abdication of the press in vetting then-candidate Obama, this may come as a surprise to many Americans, or at least the ones who’ve not read his book “Dreams From My Father,” in which he chronicles the time he spent smoking pot, getting drunk, and occasionally using cocaine.

Undoubtedly, we are all allowed forgiveness for some youthful indiscretions, although it is interesting to note the laser-like focus with which the media covered George Bush’s drinking habits in his younger days, and the virtual blackout that greets Obama’s history of illicit drug use.

May Jobs Report Shows Path to Obama’s Defeat

AKA “The Only Scandal Conservatives Need”

Executive Summary:

  • 69,000 jobs added (That’s far too weak for even a piddling recovery)
  • +.1% unemployment, up to 8.2%
  • 12.7 million Americans unemployed
  • +.2% to civilian labor force participation, up to 63.8
  • 8.1 million Americans employed just part-time for economic reasons
  • 2.4 million Americans marginally attached to the labor force
  • 830,000 discouraged workers
  • March and April job increases revised downwards
  • Sure path to Obama’s defeat in November

The May jobs report has just been released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics…and it’s awful. It’s one of the weakest reports all year, and has shown quite clearly that the “Hope N’ Change” policies of President Obama are not working. According to the BLS press release:

Nonfarm payroll employment changed little in May (+69,000), and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 8.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade but declined in construction. Employment was little changed in most other major industries.

Household Survey Data

Both the number of unemployed persons (12.7 million) and the unemployment rate (8.2 percent) changed little in May. (See table A-1.)

Washington Should Listen to JFK

kennedy_portrait“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

The famous line, uttered by our nation’s only Catholic president on a cold January day in 1961, is often used by liberals and conservatives alike as rallying cry for public service…and larger government. Citizens should sacrifice, it is said, for the greater welfare of their nation and fellow countrymen, and the government should be there as a parent to watch over us. The great Milton Friedman wrote in the introduction to his 1962 edition of Capitalism and Freedom (h/t Michael Cannon of Cato):

 


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