Communism

Pope Francis Needs a Better Role Model for Economic Policy

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

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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.

Doctors Out Themselves As Communists in Letters to the NYT’s Editors; ‘Puter Is Not Amused

Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared at The Ancient & Noble Order of the Gormogons.

 

 

 

Dr. Nick Riviera is better qualified to opine on economics than any of these clowns. If the quality of thought in these letters is any indication, Dr. Nick Riviera’s also a more competent physician.

 

Doctors are the worst.*

‘Puter concluded doctors can suck his big, fat prickly pear after reading the New York Times letters to the editor yesterday.

About eleventy gajillion** doctors wrote in to comment on the New York Times’ article “Medicare and Medicaid at 50.” We are treated to brilliant commentary, insightful analysis, and thoughtful prescriptions*** for America’s healthcare system from the medical profession’s best and brightest.

Dr. Marcia Angell, a “senior lecturer in social medicine at Harvard Medical School and a former editor in chief of The New England Journal of Medicine” from notoriously Right-leaning Cambridge, Massachusetts writes:

A New Relationship with Cuba May Be a Good Thing, Just Not Necessarily For Who You Think

Cuban Embargo

There are several arguments being bandied about regarding President Obama’s desire to normalize relations with our little Commie friend to the South, Cuba. And they run the gamut: some think it’s a sign of weak negotiating prowess and simply bad policy (we give more than we get, etc.); some think the embargo a failed prospect that should be, in the interests of the Cuban people, tossed to the wind, but that Congress should have been included in the decision; and others think it’s all just a swell idea and hurray because Cuba and the USA are about to be besties! (I’m sure there’s a selfie joke in there somewhere).

Congress, understandably, is pushing back — again, something that will likely be a common theme over the next two years — with Marco Rubio making as clear a statement as any I’ve heard on the matter:

“I anticipate I’ll be the chairman of the Western Hemisphere subcommittee on the Foreign Relations Committee” in the new Congress, Florida Senator Marco Rubio said in a press conference hours after the release of American prisoner Alan Gross from a Cuban prison was announced along with the administration’s plans to normalize relations with Cuba, including opening an embassy there.

Salon: Communism’s Just Misunderstood

The athletes are beginning to arrive in Sochi, and with them a different kind of protest than the ones seen in Russia leading up to the games. The local Communist Party, it seems, prefers a quieter tack than the protestors that took to the streets in the preceding months in the frozen land to the north:

About 12 kilometers (seven miles) from the nearest Olympic venue, a handful of curious onlookers, a few mothers pushing young children in carriages, two TV cameras and a sprinkling of uniformed and plain-clothed police were there to witness Igor Vasiliev, leader of Sochi Communist Party Branch, and six supporters stage a peaceful rally on Saturday.

Russian authorities are allowing public demonstrations during the Olympics, but there’s unlikely to be massed angry mobs of people protesting against the kind of issues in Russia that have gained international attention ahead of the games.

Libertarianism is like the new communism, dude

Michael Hamilton is a libertarian writer living in Washington, D.C. His main interests are economics, drug legalization, immigration, and land-use policy.

Libertarianism is the new communism, at least if you ask Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu:

Most people would consider radical libertarianism and communism polar opposites: The first glorifies personal freedom. The second would obliterate it. Yet the ideologies are simply mirror images. Both attempt to answer the same questions, and fail to do so in similar ways.

This colorful lede suggested they might offer a new critique of libertarianism, but my hopes were quickly dashed. The authors end up retreading old arguments—seemingly unaware that others had done so many times before. Their failure to offer a substantive appraisal of libertarian ideas may stem from low familiarity with libertarianism itself.

Hanauer and Liu start with a decent definition of libertarianism, namely that it is “the ideology that holds that individual liberty trumps all other values.” This is fairly accurate characterization of the moral beliefs held by many libertarians. Unfortunately, the authors struggle to trace these moral foundations to basic philosophical  or policy positions held by actual libertarians.

“A Revolution to Overthrow Capitalism”

OWS goons

A few weeks ago we brought you a video from an Occupy meeting where the stated goal was to overthrow capitalism. A few commenters took issue with this, claiming it was an isolated statement and that Occupy is a loose-knit group.

I had the opportunity to be with the Occupy protesters at the RNC and the DNC over the past few weeks and I can assuredly tell you that it is not an isolated statement.  True, there are many groups represented at the demonstrations, and maybe not all of them will outright say that they want to overthrow capitalism. But when you promote a socialist economy, by definition you are advocating the overthrow of capitalism.

I covered the “March on the RNC” in Tampa and was able to have a conversation with a socialist marcher about the economy:

A few of his comments deserve special attention.

“We need to tax the wealthiest people in the country, who aren’t paying their fair share - it’s not shared sacrifice for them.”

This is a common refrain among not only the Occupy movement but among liberals in general.  Consider that the top 20 percent of earners - going way beyond the famed 1 percent - makes a little more than half the money yet pays two-thirds of the federal taxes.  And once you hit $200,000 in adjusted gross income, your tax rate nearly doubles - going from an average of 11.9 percent to 19.6 percent.

Occupy DC Infiltrated, Calls for Violent Revolution

Occupy Wall Street - what’s that?  They’ve gone away, right? They haven’t.  They’re regrouping and preparing to ramp up.  Nick Tomboulides, Andrew McCaughey, and Danielle Saul recorded some remarks made by Mike Golash, former President Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 689, and others at a OccupyDC meeting held August 19, 2012.

They are not hiding their goals anymore - and no matter what your stance on the current state of our government, what is being said here should shock all patriots.

GOLASH: Progressive labor is a revolutionary Communist organization.  Its objective is to make revolution in the United States, overthrow the capitalist system, and build communism.  We’re trying to learn something from the historical revolutions of the past, the Russian revolution, the Chinese revolution, the revolutions in Cuba and Eastern Europe.

What can we learn from them so we can build a more successful movement to transform capitalist society?

The “historical revolutions of the past” don’t include the American Revolution - a revolution which created true freedom and prosperity and has been a model for such - but includes revolutions in which dictators were created who brutally tortured and slaughtered millions of their own people?

Economic Depressions Don’t Exist Under Totalitarian Systems

So contends Lev Nazrozov. He writes:

Out-of-control predatory capitalists have perpetrated a worldwide economic depression. Capitalism’s degenerate character is now extraordinarily visible during this time of multiple crises.

On each side of the page there is a picture of a miserable emaciated proletarian who carries on his back a huge pack of money, with a bourgeois seated atop of the pack and smoking a cigar.

By simply allowing the government to dominate every sector of the polity, by embracing totalitarianism, we might be able to avoid the woes of economic recession? Historical study makes such a conclusion seem ridiculous. While totalitarian economies did not suffer from “depressions”, per se, one could argue that consumers and citizens lived under a system which continuously mimicked the effects of depression.

Milton Friedman on the Phil Donahue Show in 1979

See Video

Milton Friedman answers tough questions with well-reasoned answers, pointing out that many of the arguments against the free-enterprise system are based on questionable assumptions.

What is America Becoming?

A few months ago, I was temporarily immersed in the recent history of Eastern Europe. I was devouring Ayn Rand’s We the Living, Michael G. Roskin’s The Rebirth of East Europe and Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Gorazde.


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