Venezuelan Women robbed at Gunpoint for their Hair despite living in a Socialist Utopia

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 10th, 2013

Week in Review

The American left loves Venezuela.  Because they are a socialist nation.  Where they put people before profits.  And everyone links arms and sings Kumbaya.  As everyone lives in harmony in the Venezuelan paradise.  Life just doesn’t get better than life in Venezuela (see Venezuelan thieves stealing hair to sell as hair extensions by Alasdair Baverstock posted 8/9/2013 on The Telegraph).

In Maracaibo, Venezuela’s second largest city, the gang is targeting women whose flowing locks, once removed, can be made into natural hair extensions and sold to beauty salons.

The robbers operate by holding their victims at gunpoint and ordering them to tie their hair into a ponytail, before removing it with a razor blade.

Hard to believe.  In a country where everyone has everything why would there be any criminals?  For in the West they say criminality is a result of income disparity.  The anger that rises between the haves and the have nots.  That spills out into criminal activity.  Yet here is criminality.  In a country where there is no income disparity.  Where everyone has everything.

“The demand for hair extensions has risen by 30 per cent since the crimes started”, said Jhonatan Morales, a beauty salon owner who spoke to state television channel Globovision.

“The market is more competitive now. We judge the hair on its tone, condition and colour”, he said. “But my salon doesn’t buy from street vendors as we don’t know where the hair has come from”.

So these Venezuelan women are being robbed of their hair at gunpoint for other Venezuelan women.  Guess hair extensions are the one thing the socialist government of Venezuela doesn’t provide for their people.  So apart from hair extensions everyone has everything.  Because everyone is equal in Venezuela.  Where there is no income disparity.  And no crime.  Only singing of Kumbaya.  Except for when it comes to hair extensions.  For apparently the socialist utopia in Venezuela doesn’t eliminate hair disparity.

Maracaibo, a city of four million close to the Colombian border, is particularly prone to gang crime given the large amount of smuggling which occurs in the area.

Gang activity in the region is funded by the purchasing of basic goods such as lavatory paper and rice, the prices of which are heavily subsidized by Venezuela’s socialist government. The goods are then smuggled across the border into Colombia where they are sold for a profit at normal market rates.

Not only do they have hair disparity which leads to hair crime they have the worst of all criminals.  Profiteers.  Who instead of singing Kumbaya for having everything they ever could want in their socialist utopia turn to greed.  Taking advantage of the state subsidies to turn a profit.  Something that’s not supposed to happen in a socialist utopia.  That kind of stuff is only supposed to happen in the greedy capitalist world.  Where they put profits before people.  Leading to income disparity.  And crime.  Where the people don’t link arms and sing Kumbaya.  Because life is so wretched there.  Unlike in Venezuela.  As long as you don’t walk the streets with beautiful, lustrous hair.

So maybe income disparity isn’t the source of crime.  For socialism hasn’t eliminated crime in Venezuela.  But you know what it has done?  Allowed great sweeping electoral victories for the candidate that promises to make life better for the have nots.  And if politicians ride to office by promising to make life better for the multitudes of the have nots do you really think they will make life better for the have nots?  And eliminate the great electoral advantage they have?  Probably not.  Which explains why there are always have nots.  And always will be.  Income disparity or not.

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North Korea turning to Free Markets to End Famine and Abject Poverty

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 2nd, 2013

Week in Review

Our public schools are teaching our children that capitalism is evil and unfair.  That government is needed to prevent business owners from making too much profit at the people’s expense.  Our public schools teach our kids this because the left controls our public schools.  And the left hates capitalism.  They would love to replace capitalism with socialism.  An egalitarian system that puts people before profits.  Because putting people before profits is the only way to truly increase the quality of life.  Unless you actually live in a place where they put people before profits (see NKorean farmers planting rice with profits in mind by AP posted 5/31/2013 on Yahoo! News).

Farmers say they have begun working under the new policies, which are designed to boost production by giving managers and workers financial incentives. Foreign analysts say the moves to spur North Korea’s moribund economy suggest Pyongyang is taking cues from Beijing on how to incorporate free market ideas within its rigid socialist system…

Impoverished North Korea suffers chronic food and power shortages and has not released economic data for decades. South Korea’s central bank estimates the North’s gross national income, an indicator of the average standard of living, was $1,250 per person in 2011 compared with $23,400 in South Korea.

In the past, the North Korean state set workers’ salaries. Under new measures announced April 1, the managers of farms, factories and other enterprises have been given leeway to set salaries and offer raises to workers who help drive up production…

Beijing dismantled its centrally planned economy slowly. In the 1970s, it began allowing farmers to keep more of their harvests, giving them an incentive to grow more to sell on newly permitted free markets. Food production soared.

In the mid-’80s, the government gave state enterprises the authority to link bonuses and salaries to better performance. Those changes were mostly aimed at managers, but they cracked a communist-era preference for egalitarianism.

New rules in the early 1990s gave state enterprises full flexibility to set wages, widening the use of performance incentives. In that decade, China truly broke away from its centralized “iron rice bowl” system of guaranteed employment and state-set incomes…

At the Tongbong farm in the eastern city of Hamhung, farmers are in the midst of a busy rice planting season after a long, cold winter.

A long, cold winter?  Guess there’s no global warming in North Korea.

North Korea’s “rigid socialist system” has impoverished and starved her people.  As well as left them in the dark as they don’t have the energy to light up the night.  This is egalitarianism.  Everyone’s life is equally miserable.  This is what socialism gets you.  Countries like North Korea, Cuba, the former Soviet Union and China under Mao.  Countries notable for their abject poverty.  And occasional famine.  This is what the left wants America to be.  Egalitarian.  Where we put people before profits.  Where no one has any incentive to do anything.  Because working harder than the next guy doesn’t improve your lot in life.  So you don’t work harder.  You do the minimum.  Because why work harder when the outcome is always the same?  Misery.

No doubt the American left disapproves of North Korea’s introduction of market forces.  And the profit incentive.  For it puts profits before people.  They’d rather see another layer of bureaucracy.  And another 5-year plan.  Where brilliant government elites think brilliantly to solve the nation’s problems.  Instead of leaving it to the chaos of the free markets.  For what did the chaos of the free markets ever do for the people?  Other than give them an obesity problem while socialism gives her people famine.  Free markets give her people smartphones and the Internet.  While Socialism can’t even light up the night.  And free markets give her people peace and happiness.  While socialism gives her people fear and intimidation.

Of course, the American left doesn’t have a problem giving fear and intimidation to some people.  As the IRS persecution of conservatives shows.  Which is perhaps why the American left admires socialism so much.  Why they insist that we put people before profits.  Because when we do we move closer to a police state like they have in North Korea.  Something the American left no doubt would like.  For it would make it easier for them to persecute their political enemies.

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Obamacare will Double Insurance Premiums in California

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 2nd, 2013

Week in Review

The proponents of Obamacare say it will lower the cost of health insurance, give health insurance to the poor who can’t afford it and cover people with preexisting conditions.  That is, we’ll get more for less.  In all of recorded history there have been few examples of getting more for less.  Usually you have to go to scripture to find them.  Such as when Jesus fed about 4,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and two fish.  This is what the proponents of Obamacare believe Obamacare will do.  A miracle.  Even though a great many of them don’t even believe in Jesus Christ.  Or miracles.  And for Obamacare to do all that they say it will do will take a miracle or two (see Rate Shock: In California, Obamacare To Increase Individual Health Insurance Premiums By 64-146% by Avik Roy posted 5/30/2013 on Forbes).

Last week, the state of California claimed that its version of Obamacare’s health insurance exchange would actually reduce premiums. “These rates are way below the worst-case gloom-and-doom scenarios we have heard,” boasted Peter Lee, executive director of the California exchange. But the data that Lee released tells a different story: Obamacare, in fact, will increase individual-market premiums in California by as much as 146 percent…

That Obamacare more than doubles insurance premiums for many Californians is especially ironic, given the political posturing of the President and his administration in 2010. In February of that year, Anthem Blue Cross announced that some groups (but not the majority) would face premium increases of as much as 39 percent. The White House and its allies in the blogosphere, cynically, claimed that these increases were due to greedy profiteering by the insurers, instead of changes in the underlying costs of the insured population.

Soon after, WellPoint announced that, in fact, because of lower revenues and higher spending on patient care, the company earned 11 percent less in 2010 than it did in 2009. So much for greedy profiteering.

This is no surprise.  Because you can’t just give health insurance to those who don’t have it without someone paying for it.  And you just can’t let people who don’t have health insurance buy a policy when they come down with a costly medical condition without someone paying for it.  Before Obamacare these people didn’t have health insurance.  After Obamacare these people will.  But someone has to pay for it.  And guess who that will be?  Those who pay for health insurance.  Who will now have to pay more as more people will be consuming health care benefits without paying for it themselves.

This is no mystery.  And most people seem to understand this when it comes to income taxes.  As they will vote to raise taxes on rich people so the government can afford to give them more free stuff.  People understand this.  They say the rich should pay their fair share so those who don’t can get stuff for free.  They understand the principle that for some people to get something for free other people have to pay for it.  When it comes to taxes, at least.  But somehow they act surprised when the very same thing happens in health care.

Allowing people with a preexisting condition who didn’t bother to pay for health insurance to buy a policy at the same price as everyone else is unfair.  Because when they were healthy they did not contribute to the health care system by paying an insurance premium.  But now that they are sick they expect others to chip in and help pay their medical expenses when they refused to do it when they had a chance.  And with no annual or lifetime limit to benefits those other people will have to pay even more.  This is what Obamacare will do.  So it was never going to lower the cost of health care.  Because you can’t get more for less.  Unless you’re Jesus Christ.  So, yes, prices will soar for the responsible people who pay for health insurance.

As the Obama administration tries to change the United States into a social democracy like all those European states suffering debt crises and recessions there will be a strong incentive NOT to do well.  For those who do well and prosper get rewarded by paying the bill for those who do not.  From those according to ability to those according to need.  It sounds so utopian.  But what happens in socialist countries is that people try to show as little ability as possible while showing as much need as they can.  Because that’s how you prosper under socialism.  Have other people work hard while you enjoy the fruit of all their labors.  And never show ability.  Because if you do you will only work harder than the guy that doesn’t.

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Venezuela may put People before Profits but they have no Toilet Paper

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 18th, 2013

Week in Review

The American left wants to have the economic system they have in Venezuela.  Where they put people before profits.  To prevent evil corporations from getting rich.  While exploiting their workers.  And overcharging their customers.  You see, that kind of thing just doesn’t happen in Venezuela.  Because they put people before profits (see So, Venezuela Has a Toilet-Paper Shortage (Don’t Laugh. Seriously.) by Jordan Weissmann posted 5/16/2013 on The Atlantic).

Venezuela is now suffering from a government-induced toilet paper shortage. The situation has become politically dire enough that the government has promised to import 50 million rolls to calm shoppers.

For those familiar with the Bolivarian Republic’s less-than-sterling economic record of late, this won’t come as a surprise. The country, while relatively wealthy by developing-world standards, has been suffering through a chronic shortfall of everything from groceries to asthma inhalers, resulting in desperate lines of shoppers and a healthy black market trade in kitchen staples like flour.

In the United States about the only toilet paper shortage people are familiar with is when they drop trou in a public restroom without looking to see if there was toilet paper first.  Why do people do this in the United States?  Because we take toilet paper for granted.  And always expect it to be there.  Because we are not socialists.  We’re capitalists.  And being a capitalist means you never have to see an empty shelf when buying toilet paper.

So why do socialists have such a difficult time buying toilet paper?  Because they put people before profits.  Which sounds good but is only code for dictatorship.  Where the dictator lives well.  As there is always enough for the privileged few.  But to sustain this privileged position a dictator has to steal from his people.

In 2003, then President Hugo Chavez slammed currency controls into place to prevent money from fleeing the country while government seized land and corporate assets. Those rules have made it harder to buy imports. Meanwhile, price caps meant to make basic staples affordable to the poor are so low that, for many products, they don’t pay for the cost of production.

Nobody’s going to make toilet paper if they’ll lose money selling it.

Price caps make things cost less than the prevailing market price.  Which encourages people to over consume.  Just as Nixon’s price controls led to gas shortages in the United States.  While at the same time the price caps force suppliers to sell below the prevailing market price.  Which is often below their costs.  So while people are clearing shelves off suppliers are not replenishing those shelves.  Leading to shortages.

To buy imports you have to first exchange your currency for the currency of the country you’re buying from.  For U.S. companies accept the U.S. dollar for its exports.  Not the bolívar fuerte.  Venezuela’s currency controls prevent Venezuelan businesses from exchanging their currency.  Making it impossible for them to buy the imports they need.  So they have to throttle back production.  Making it more difficult to restock those empty shelves.  Forcing the people to go without toilet paper.  While Hugo Chavez died a billionaire.

This is what happens when you put people before profits.  You make it possible for a charismatic dictator to impoverish the people he champions.  Which is impossible under laissez-faire capitalism.  For businesses can buy the imports they need.  And they can sell at a price that covers their costs.  Which keeps the shelves in capitalist countries overflowing with the goods people want to buy.  While wannabe dictators can’t seize land and corporate assets.  But have to work for a living.  Like everyone else.

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The Soldiers in North Korea are Busy…helping the Farmers with the Spring Planting in Hopes of Avoiding another Famine

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 27th, 2013

Week in Review

The Sixties radicals hated capitalism.  And the profit incentive.  They sang songs about love.  And revered communist leaders.  For they wanted to replace capitalism in America with communism.  Where no one owned anything.  But everyone owned everything.  It would be utopia.  This is what the Sixties radicals believed.  And what they wanted in the United States.  A system where they put people before profits.  So it would be like in that John Lennon Song.  Imagine.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

The Sixties radicals loved the former Soviet Union.  Because the Soviets hated capitalism.  And embraced socialism.  Putting people before profits.  These radicals loved Che Guevara.  One of Fidel Castro’s trusted lieutenants.  Who wanted the Soviets to launch their nuclear weapons on America.  (Remember this the next time you see a college student wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with his image.)  They liked Chairman Mao in China.  And Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam.  And every communist leader in Central America and South America.  For these communist leaders hated capitalism.  And put people before profits.  Just like in North Korea.  Who unlike the former Soviet Union (now Russia) and China, did not lose the faith and embrace capitalism.  No.  In North Korea they still put people before profits (see NKorean soldiers put down arms to help plant crops by JEAN H. LEE, Associated Press, posted 4/24/2013 on Yahoo! News).

The North Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone is a hive of activity — not of fighting, but of farming.

Beyond the barbed wire, ruddy-faced North Korean soldiers put down their rifles Wednesday and stood shoulder to shoulder with farmers as they turned their focus to another battle: the spring planting.

As neighboring nations remain on guard for a missile launch or nuclear test that South Korean and U.S officials say could take place at any time, the focus north of the border is on planting rice, cabbage and soybeans. In hamlets all along the DMZ, soldiers were knee-deep in mud and water as they helped farmers with the spring planting…

Last month, Kim Jong Un enshrined the pursuit of nuclear weapons, along with building the economy, as key goals for the nation.

Col. Kim, at the lookout point along the DMZ, called nuclear weapons “the lifeblood” of North Korea. “If we don’t have nuclear weapons, we’ll continue to be threatened by outside forces.”

For the moment, however, the labor of many North Korean soldiers is turned to the land. Spring is arriving slowly this year in North Korea, pushing back the crucial planting season by a month. Impoverished North Korea struggles to feed its 24 million people, with the U.N. estimating that two-thirds of the population cope with chronic food shortages.

Farmers in Panmunjom-ri, the North Korean village inside the DMZ, were busy planting rice, cabbage, soybeans and radish in fields surrounded by barbed wire and anti-tank barriers.

Elsewhere, faces flushed and still in their uniforms, men and women soldiers waded into muddy paddies and bent down with fistfuls of spinach to plant.

Around them, red banners fluttered in the wind. One read, “At a breath,” a phrase urging North Koreans to work hard. The other read, “Defend to the death.”

This is what you get when you put people before profits.  A nation with nuclear weapons.  And recurring famine.  Where the army has to pitch in during the planting season.  Because they are still farming in North Korea the way they were a hundred years ago.  By hand.  Meanwhile the United States grows so much food that they use some of it to make ethanol to put into their cars.  This is what you get when you put profits before people.  So much food that you can use it for fuel.  And where even the poorest people suffer from obesity problems.

You see, when you put profits before people you are putting people first.  For to earn a profit you have to please the people.  You can’t order them to buy your products.  Like the North Koreans can order their army to plant food.  You have to make a product the people want to buy.  And only when you please the customer can a business make a profit.  While the ruling regime in North Korea can kill hundreds of thousands of their people in a famine and they still live the good life.  Because when you put people before profits you can do pretty much anything you want to do.  Because the only people that truly matter are the people with the army to enforce their rule.

But south of the border it’s different.  In South Korea life is good.  And they suffer no famines.  Because they embrace capitalism.  Some people live better than others.  Such as those in Gangnam.   The area of three districts in Seoul, South Korea.  Immortalized in the video Gangnam Style.  A lifestyle that simply does not exist in North Korea.  Unless you’re high up in the ruling regime.  Because when you put people before profits only those with an army behind them can afford to live the good life.

So if you want to see the difference between capitalism and socialism/communism look to the Korean peninsula.  Where you will see a vibrant South Korea full of happy people.  And an Orwellian North Korea where the people live in fear and are often cold and hungry.  Because they put people before profits.  Where it’s easy to imagine they have no possessions.  Because they have little.  Well, the people don’t.  But the ruling elite certainly lives Gangnam style.  Like all dictators do.

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Capitalism puts People First while Socialism puts the State First

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 20th, 2013

Week in Review

SeaWorld is going public.  In the initial public offering (IPO) filing they discuss the unpleasant business of their animals potentially killing people.  Which has happened in the past.  Of course, they don’t want their animals to kill people.  For it will adversely impact the bottom line (see SeaWorld: Our Investors Should Know That It’s Bad For Business When Our Killer Whales Kill People by Matthew Boesler posted 4/18/2013 on Business Insider).

This incident and similar events that may occur in the future may harm our reputation, reduce attendance and negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

A lot of people think that if government doesn’t regulate businesses they will wantonly put their customers at risk.  Even killing them with dangerous products or unsafe conditions.  People in government believe this with every fiber of their body.  So they can keep growing the size of government.  Creating ever more government jobs.  And they try to scare people whenever anyone talks about cutting the funding of government.  Saying people will die from these ruthless businesses putting profits before people if they are not there to regulate them.  Which is preposterous.

The SeaWorld’s IPO shows that if you harm your customers you will lose your customers.  And if you lose your customers you will make fewer profits.  Which means the profit incentive makes customers safe.  Because a business knows the more customers they have the more profits they can make.  So they have a financial incentive not to hurt their customers.  Something they didn’t have in the state-owned business of the former Soviet Union.

There was no fear of losing customers in the former Soviet Union if they killed their customers with faulty products.  Because there was no competition.  Just layer upon layer of bureaucrats.  And no one sued the ruling communists in the Soviet Union.  They may sacrifice the occasional bureaucrat if the outside world was aware of some incident.  But it was just another tragedy in the Soviet Union and life went on.  The people just had to put up with substandard quality.  And accept the occasional deaths.

Why?  Because in socialism where they put people before profits they actually put the state before the people.  Where bureaucrats protect themselves.  And other bureaucrats.  Because their state jobs are all that matter.  While in a country where there is capitalism the profit incentive puts people before the state.  Because any person felt mistreated by a business could simply take their business elsewhere.  Which forces businesses to bend over backward to please their customers.  Something you just don’t experience while renewing your driver’s license.

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President Obama has a Lot in Common with the Social Democracy Ideology of the NDP

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 13th, 2013

Week in Review

The New Democratic Party (NDP) of British Columbia is a social-democratic political party.  Their political ideology is Social democracy.  And the Social democracy political ideology is to transform capitalism into socialism through progressive social reform.  And they do that with higher taxes and wealth redistribution.  In fact, the current NDP leader in British Columbia has pledged to raise taxes should they win the coming election (see NDP promises tax hikes if elected by Bryn Weese, QMI Agency, posted 4/11/2013 on Vancouver 24 hrs).

Corporations, banks, polluters and the wealthy will pay more if the BC NDP wins the provincial election.

The party’s fiscal plan, unveiled at Simon Fraser University Thursday, calls for: a one point rise in the corporate tax rate from 11% to 12%, reinstating a 3% bank tax, expanding the carbon tax to include vented oil and gas emissions, and raising the personal income tax rate to 19% on incomes over $150,000 a year.

The party, if elected, also plans to run the same $800 million deficits it alleges the ruling BC Liberals are hiding. In total, the NDP would run nearly $2 billion in deficits over the next three years until the party, it says, would balance the budget in year four of a NDP government.

“We’re looking at those who have a little more to give a little more,” NDP finance critic Bruce Ralston told reporters…

The fiscal plan is a broad look at how the NDP will pay for its election platform, which will be detailed during the campaign. On Thursday, the party promised a childcare and early-education plan and a poverty-reduction strategy.

Earlier this week, NDP Leader Adrian Dix proposed increasing the tax credits for TV and film productions in the province to 40% of labour costs.

Sound familiar?  It sounds a lot like what you hear coming out of Washington.  For the Obama administration wants to tax corporations, banks, polluters and the wealthy more.  In fact they’ve used the same language.  “We’re looking at those who have a little more to give a little more.”  The Obama administration is running deficits.  President Obama even talked about expanding funds for childcare so children as young as 4 years old can receive state indoctrination.  I mean, early developmental skills.  The Obama administration has a poverty-reduction strategy.  They call it food stamps.  Some have even called him the food stamp president because more people than ever use food stamps.  And the Obama administration as a special relationship with TV and film production.  He even changed his stance on same-sex marriage in exchange for more Hollywood campaign donations.

So what does this mean?  Does it mean that President Obama is a Social democrat, too?  Because he shares the same political ideology of the NDP?  Social democracy?  Does this mean President Obama wants to transform capitalism into socialism through progressive social reform?  Of course not.  Just because it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it doesn’t mean President Obama is a socialist-leaning anti-capitalist.  It’s just a coincidence that he looks like, walks like and quacks like a socialist-leaning anti-capitalist.

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France’s New Socialist Policies are pushing France back into Recession

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 24th, 2013

Week in Review

The French brought back the Socialists to power in France with their election of Francois Hollande.  And they voted for him because he was going to stick it to the rich.  Raising the top marginal tax rate to 75%.  All the Keynesian economists said this would solve all of France’s problems.  It would reduce the deficit.  And increase confidence in the business sector.  Boosting the economy.  When critics of the move said this would drive the wealthy and their money out of France they said pish tosh.  They are patriots.  And will simply whistle a happy tune and pay this new high tax rate.  Time has passed.  And now we can see the economic results of the new Socialist policies (see Recession stalks France as business slump hits crisis levels by Leigh Thomas posted 3/21/2013 on Reuters).

French business activity shrank in March at the fastest pace in four years, defying expectations for an improvement and probably plunging the euro zone’s second-biggest economy into a recession, a survey showed on Thursday…

Separate figures for the services and manufacturing sectors showed that business activity was retreating even faster than economists polled by Reuters had forecast…

That would mean that France, which has already abandoned its 2013 deficit target due to the lack of growth, has entered its third recession since the financial crisis…

The increasingly dire state of French business is all the more alarming as consumers, traditionally a major driver of the economy, are in no place to pick up the slack.

Unemployment is above 10 percent and there is no sign that it will fall any time soon, which is weighing on consumer spending.

It also explains in large measure why President Francois Hollande’s approval ratings are at record lows less than a year into his term in office, which he won on promises to revive growth and boost jobs.

Apparently the Socialists and the Keynesian economists were wrong.

You don’t create economic activity by increasing the cost of business.  And lower the rate of return on investment.  You create economic activity by lowering the cost of business to making it attractive to expand business.  You increase the rate of return on investment capital to encourage investors to take more chances on new startup companies.  It’s not rocket science.  If you increase the price of groceries people buy less groceries.  If you increase the cost of gasoline people by less gasoline.  Because people have limited disposable income.  And the higher the prices are the less that disposable income can buy.

If you increase the cost of business it raises the prices on the goods and services they sell.  The higher prices cause people to buy less.  And if you raise the cost of investment capital by taxing rich people more that will increase the cost of financing for businesses.  Which they will pass on to the consumer in higher prices.  Somehow Keynesian economists just don’t understand this.  But people living under their bad economic policies do.  Because they are always getting by on less because of these rising tax rates.

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The US without Obamacare is in the same Financial Mess as the UK who already has the NHS

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 17th, 2013

Week in Review

The British Empire ruled the world for a century or more.  And they did that with representative government.  Capitalism.  And free trade.  Making the empire very wealthy.  And strong.  Allowing it to rule the world.  The devastating costs of World War I pretty much put an end to that.  And after World War II they nationalized health care.  With the NHS.  And some industries.  Becoming a social democracy.  Like much of Europe.  Labor strikes and power outages were so common in the Seventies they called it the British disease.  It was difficult to see the greatness that was once the British Empire.  The great nation that modernized the world.  Farming advances.  Representative government.  The Industrial Revolution.  Capitalism.  The things that built the great nations of the world today.  Things you didn’t think about when you looked at Britain in the Seventies.  Lady Thatcher brought some of that greatness back.  Improved the economic well-being of the nation.  But it didn’t last (see Osborne must make tax open and honest by Matt Sinclair posted 3/17/2013 on The Telegraph).

The Government is still spending nearly half of our national income. No country has ever financed that except by imposing punishing taxes on families making quite ordinary incomes. The alternative of making the numbers balance by taxing the “one per cent” just isn’t grounded in reality. First, there aren’t enough of them. Second, they won’t sit around like obedient little cash cows, and placidly continue to invest in this country, as we confiscate their incomes or levy swingeing property taxes on their homes.

Then there is the longer-term problem of demographics. Everyone is worrying about economic growth in the next quarter. But as the population continues to get older, none of our leaders seems to be asking how we are going to pay for the big NHS and pensions bills that are likely over the next quarter of a century.

Public spending has already reached its limits: our levels (at 49 per cent of GDP in 2012, according to the OECD) are higher than those in Germany, and could soon eclipse those of Sweden. The extra pressure caused by an ageing population means the existing system is unaffordable.

Sounds familiar.  Currently total government spending in the U.S. at all levels of government is approximately 40%.  Government at every level is trying to raise taxes. Even on those making ordinary incomes.  The government talks about making those who can afford to pay more (the 1%) should pay more.  But there aren’t enough of them.  Even if you take everything they earn.  We have an aging population, too.  And we have a system that is unaffordable as well.  There is really only one difference between the UK and the US.  The UK has national health care.  They have the NHS.  While the US is working towards a national health care.  Starting with Obamacare.  Which means things will get far, far worse in the US.  Far worse than they are in the UK.  Especially with the US having five times the population the UK has.

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Hugo Chavez is Dead but the Bizarre Conspiracy Theories live On

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 17th, 2013

Week in Review

The United Nations isn’t too happy about President Obama’s drone policy.  Killing suspected terrorists anywhere in the world.  As well as a few innocent bystanders here or there.  It smacks a bit of imperialism.  And it may be a little extralegal.  But apparently terrorists and innocent bystanders aren’t the only people President Obama is signaling out for special treatment.  What they call extreme prejudice in the covert ops business.  Apparently he’s looking at presidential candidates, too.  At least, according to Venezuela’s Maduro (see Venezuela’s Maduro accuses U.S. of “plot” to kill rival by Daniel Wallis posted 3/17/2013 on Reuters).

Venezuela’s acting president urged U.S. President Barack Obama to stop what he called a plot by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency to kill his opposition rival and trigger a coup ahead of an April 14 election.

Nicolas Maduro said the plan was to blame the murder on the OPEC nation’s government and to “fill Venezuelans with hate” as they prepare to vote following the death of socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

Maduro first mentioned a plot against his rival, Henrique Capriles, last week. He blamed it on former Bush administration officials Roger Noriega and Otto Reich. Both rejected the claim as untrue, outrageous and defamatory.

“I call on President Obama – Roger Noriega, Otto Reich, officials at the Pentagon and at the CIA are behind a plan to assassinate the right-wing presidential candidate to create chaos,” Maduro said in a TV interview broadcast on Sunday…

Capriles, who kicked off the opposition’s bid to drum up support with big rallies in the provinces over the weekend, said Maduro would be to blame if anything happened to him.

No matter what you think about President Obama or his liberal use of drones to kill people this is a pretty outrageous claim.  First of all, the Left loved Hugo Chavez.  And they don’t come further left than President Obama.  He’s trying to take the United States in the direction of Venezuela.  So he wouldn’t kill the guy that wasn’t a socialist to foment chaos to bring down the one that was.  He would just do it to bring down the right-wing candidate.  If he did that sort of thing.  Which, of course, he doesn’t.  Unless Capriles was a member of an al Qaeda cell.  Or he had the misfortune of being too close to someone who was.  Then all bets are off.

I’m joking, of course.  It’s probably what Capriles said.  If anything happens to him to cause him to lose the election it will probably not be the fault of President Obama.  But the fault of the one who wins the election.  Who may use some campaign tactics that may be a bit extralegal.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that.

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