It Doesn’t Seem Possible, but France Is Going from Bad to Worse

Remember when Paul Krugman warned that there was a plot against France? He asserted that critics wanted to undermine the great success of France’s social model.

I agreed with Krugman, at least in the limited sense that there is a plot against France. But I explained that the conspiracy to hurt the nation was being led by French politicians.

Simply stated, my view has been that the French political elite have been taxing the nation into stagnation and decline and there is every reason to think that the nation is heading toward a severe self-inflicted fiscal crisis.

But it turns out I may have been too optimistic. Let’s look at some updates from Krugmantopia.

We’ll start with a report from the Financial Times, which captures the nation’s sense of despair.

…if the country’s embattled socialist president was hoping for some respite from what has been a testing year, he can probably think again. … the French economy barely expanded during the second quarter of this year after stagnating in the first. …the result will make it all but impossible to achieve the government’s growth forecast for 2014 of 1 per cent… Bruno Cavalier, chief economist at Oddo & Cie, the Paris-based bank, says one reason is the huge constraint on disposable income posed by France’s tax burden, which has risen from 41 per cent of GDP in 2009 to 45.7 per cent last year – one of the highest in the eurozone.

My Humble Apologies to Occupy Wall Street

I need to offer an apology. For the last couple of months I’ve been highly critical of the Occupy Wall Street movement, accusing them of being violent, misbehaved, clueless social malcontents. However, in light of recent events, I’ve concluded I was wrong, and we should embrace the philosophy of government enforced equality for all. No more disparities in anything we do or have, just an equal distribution of everything to everyone.

I had this epiphany a few days ago while watching ESPN and coverage of the NBA lockout, now nearing its 150th day. What it boils down to is multi-millionaire owners and multi-millionaire players arguing over who gets the biggest piece of a multi-billion dollar league revenue pie. I realized that all of this bickering could be resolved by implementing the demands of equality espoused by the Occupy Wall Street protestors.

So here’s the deal…since President Obama wants to increase taxes on “the rich” who need to “pay their fair share” so that we can “spread the wealth”, we simply set the maximum NBA player salary at the level Obama defines as “rich”, which is $200,000 for an individual. That is $50,000 more per year that what it takes to be in the Top 5% of income earners in this country (a threshold which starts at just under $160,000). In fact, that will be the salary for EVERY NBA player, because it is immoral to discriminate simply on the basis of talent, productivity or some other performance-based metric. Just because one player was not born with the natural talent of another player, or refused to succumb to the oppressive dictates of some evil corporation (after all, the NBA is basically a big corporation) with its constant demands to maintain physical fitness and practice all the time, doesn’t mean they should be punished.

Occupy Wall Street: The Young and the Clueless

“Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain - and since labor is pain in itself - it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.” ~French Economist Frederick Bastiat, 1845, Economic Sophisms”

“There are many well-meaning people today who work at placing an economic floor beneath all of us so that no one shall exist below a certain level or standard of living, and certainly we don’t quarrel with this. But look more closely and you may find that all too often these well-meaning people are building a ceiling above which no one shall be permitted to climb and between the two are pressing us all into conformity, into a mold of standardized mediocrity.” ~President Ronald Reagan

For the past few weeks, America has been treated to a steady news coverage diet of Occupy Wall Street, a motley amalgam of former hippies, idealistic but misinformed college students, Marxist advocates, seekers of mayhem for mayhem’s sake, and the just plain clueless. Welcome to the Flea Party, the far left’s answer to the organic uprising of the TEA Party. However, that is where the comparison stops. Whereas the TEA Party uprising has been peaceful, the Flea Party has been a study in anti-social behavior masquerading as noble civil disobedience.

So, what’s the point of Occupy Wall Street?

As the Occupy Wall Street movement faces eviction from their humble abode smack dab in the middle of the city that never sleeps, it has truly been a beast of a different feather.  Even should the eviction happen, I suspect they’re just find somewhere else to be.  But what exactly is the Occupy Wall Street movement?

The real answer is that no one really knows.  A list of demands took to the web, but it was quickly discounted by many as “unofficial” when non-supporters began lambasting those very demands, and there in lies the genius of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

When the Tea Party first coalesced, despite its leaderless nature there were very real goals.  There were some universal ideas that spread throughout the Tea Party, and the Tea Party acknowledged it.  The Tea Party was anti-bailouts for one, and it was against tax increases as well.  It stood for some very real thing that anyone who was at a Tea Party as a participant – and not just as a spectator or rabble rouser – was likely to believe.

However, Occupy Wall Street has a built in defense mechanism.  When someone lists a demand as “Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment,” and opponents jump on it, Occupy Wall Street supporters can say, “Oh no!  That’s not a demand.  There aren’t any demands!”

You see, without any demands, they don’t actually have to do anything.  They don’t have to work towards any goals, because they don’t have them.  They are protesting, but no one seems to know what they actually want, and that amorphous nature allows them to adapt to any situation.  All they have to say is that they are representing “the 99%” and to soldier on.

The progressive Contract for America

Could they at least get an original name?

On Monday afternoon, and Rebuild the Dream announced a campaign to build up a popular movement that could match (if not surpass) the debt reduction crowd in both size and energy. And they have borrowed a concept from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) as their organizing principle.

The campaign, led by Van Jones, President of Rebuild the Dream; Justin Ruben, Executive Director of; and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), among others, is debuting a new Contract for the American Dream. They describe it as “a progressive economic vision crafted by 125,000 Americans … to get the economy back on track.” Its debut will involve a nationwide day of action, as well as an ad in The New York Times to run sometime this week, organizers said.

This “Contract” is very illustrative of the core tenets of modern liberalism – that it is the government that drives the economy, and that the government has every right to commandeer your money if it believes it has a better means of using it. Remember that the government is not some abstract and omniscient system; it is merely a group of power-hungry individuals with enough naivete to believe they know more than the rest of us:

The basic premise of the campaign is that America isn’t broke, it’s merely imbalanced. In order to stabilize the economy, politicians should make substantial investments in infrastructure, energy, education and the social safety net, tax the rich, end the wars, and create a wider revenue base through job creation.

Venezuelans Are Fed Up With Socialist President Maduro

Nicolás Maduro

Since February 4th, students have been protesting in San Cristóbal, Venezuela. Protesters have been strongly opposed to current President Nicolas Maduro and his heavy-handed interventionist government and have decided to take it to the streets, which ended up triggering waves of violent attacks that are mostly perpetrated by paramilitary forces. At least 6 people have died so far.

Before the protests, Venezuelans were experiencing soaring crime rates, an annual inflation rate of 320 percent and shortage of basic goods, which are all mostly due to protectionist policies and Hugo Chavez’s National Bolivarian Guard’s crack down on the ‘over-pricing’ the government accuses producers and merchants of practicing.

Product shortages range from vegetables to toilet paper.

In Venezuela, food is subsidized. The government has instilled an idea among its citizens that cheap gas is every Venezuelan’s right, so oil is heavily subsidized as well. The president of the Venezuela’s national oil company is also the vice president in charge of the country’s economy, has also acted as the government’s energy minister.

Obama wins coveted Hugo Chavez endorsement

Hugo Chavez

And yes, the title is meant to be funny. Venezuela’s socialist dictator, Hugo Chavez, recently said some nice things about President Barack Obama and took some shots at this opponent, Mitt Romney:

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has signaled a preference in the U.S. presidential campaign by comparing Mitt Romney to his own challenger.

Chavez, who is up for re-election a month before U.S. President Barack Obama, has in recent weeks expressed a clear preference for the man currently in the White House.

In a campaign speech Saturday night, Chavez equated the agenda of his challenger, Henrique Capriles, with that of Romney, saying both men represent the callously selfish capitalist elite.
“I believe the person to best explain the loser’s agenda isn’t Barack Obama but rather Romney, because it’s the extreme right-wing agenda that borders on the fascism of the United States,” Chavez told tens of thousands of supporters in the western city of Maracaibo.

“In the end, it’s the same project,” Chavez said, referring to Obama as “a good guy.”

Occupy Wall Street almost out of money

Don’t look now, but Occupy Wall Street’s 15 minutes of fame isn’t just fading quickly. The Associated Press reports that they’re also low on money:

A finance report shows the group that galvanized the nationwide movement against economic inequality six months ago had about $45,000 left in its main account.

That’s for the week of March 2. Weekly donations plummeted to about $1,600.

The report on the group’s General Assembly website says at “the current rate of expenditure” the Occupiers will be “out of money in THREE WEEKS.”

Yeah, this is me not caring. Don’t get me wrong. They had a couple of legitimate points in their message, such as the TARP bailout being a bad deal for taxpayers and criticism of the government. But their solutions to were terrible because they would’ve place further reliance on the government and would have used force to take more from taxpayers through taxation.

The grievances that Occupy Wall Street put forward certainly do deserve a spot in the marketplace of ideas in the public discussion, but I reject them almost entirely. But my personal experiences with them make me, on the whole, take them much less seriously.

Obama: End of the Road

During four years of non-presidency, the 2012 election in the United States will finally furnish us a leader! While the media are jabbing away fruitlessly at the GOP candidates, one thing is certain: Barack Obama will not be elected twice. If he is (least likely), there will be rebellions in America’s Main Streets.

Just this morning; the USA Today reported, for instance, that the auto-industry bailouts of 2008, were a success! Success? More like highway robbery. There were two articles, one a reprieve to counter. But it is clear who is instigating GOP roadblocks: socialists, occupy wall streeters, the media, the IMF, the U.N. and other fat-cat democrat-billionaires and their crony go-for-mediocre claptraps. Cries for the ouster of president Barack Obama are heard world-wide.

Nightmare scenario reality: Obama’s assault on the markets, are plunging the world into darkness. In congress money is used like never before, to make Washington D.C. more like Paris. Let us be clear: no sane American wants/wanted this. It is time for this ghost, to make his ghoulish departure.

A government which becomes so large it is able to give to everyone, anything at anytime it wishes no matter the cost, will take it all away. Violently.

What has Obama done?

To sum up: he has stalled the economy (purposefully) into a ditch, ruined our dollar, made promises lies, frivoluosly disobeyed the constitution, waged war on all faith, handicapped elderly in a cement straight-jacket, given taxes to Egyptians for jihad against Europe, increased immigration and pummelled this great land with medicare, benefits, welfare, handouts, support, birth control, donations, freebies, impositions on all!

Auto-industry bailouts worked; only insofar as it was the only decision in a one-man’s debate. Another way to have dealt Detriot would have been; to let companies fail, let them go: whatever is left, would be parcelled out among those lasting.

Occupy Wall Street: The scum of the intellectual left

Democrats may want to heed the words of pollster Douglas Schoen, who recently went inside Occupy Wall Street and found that the protesters do not represent mainstream America; instead many are the scum of the intellectual left (to borrow a phrase from Ayn Rand):

Last week, senior White House adviser David Plouffe said that “the protests you’re seeing are the same conversations people are having in living rooms and kitchens all across America… . People are frustrated by an economy that does not reward hard work and responsibility, where Wall Street and Main Street don’t seem to play by the same set of rules.” Nancy Pelosi and others have echoed the message.

Yet the Occupy Wall Street movement reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people—and particularly with swing voters who are largely independent and have been trending away from the president since the debate over health-care reform.

The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies. On Oct. 10 and 11, Arielle Alter Confino, a senior researcher at my polling firm, interviewed nearly 200 protesters in New York’s Zuccotti Park. Our findings probably represent the first systematic random sample of Occupy Wall Street opinion.

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