Week in Review
The American left has long had a love affair with communism. They loved Joseph Stalin. Until he made a nonaggression pact with Nazi Germany that allowed Hitler to wage World War II. Which devastated the left. For they felt their true love betrayed them. But they rejoiced when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. So they could love Uncle Joe Stalin once again. Even though some 20 million Soviets died because of Stalin’s nonaggression pact with Adolf Hitler.
All during the Cold War the left urged détente with the Soviet Union. They wore t-shirts with pictures of Che Guevara. They carried pictures of Chairman Mao. They admired Ho Chi Minh. They wanted to normalize relations with Cuba. They liked Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. And just loved Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. When it came to communist/socialist regimes nationalizing industries and oppressing their people the left professed their undying love. Why? Because they hate capitalism. Just like these communist/socialist dictators. Who put their people ahead of profits. Like they do in North Korea (see NASA photo shows North Korea is in the dark by Dylan Stableford posted 2/26/2014 Yahoo! News).
While you were sleeping, North Korea disappeared.
Well, not exactly. But a recent image taken from the International Space Station shows the mysterious, dictator-ruled country almost completely in the dark…
Even the capital of Pyongyang (population: 3.26 million) is a relatively dark, compared with smaller cities in neighboring South Korea and China.
The reason? According to a recent report by the Korea Institute for National Unification, electricity in North Korea is “sporadic and unreliable, with homes that have electricity often receiving just a few hours per day.” About half of North Korea’s 24 million people live in extreme poverty, with most homes and apartments “heated by open fireplaces burning wood or briquettes.” And many “lack flush toilets.”
The North Korean regime hates capitalism. Just like the American left. Because capitalism puts profits before people. Which is why New York City has an incredible night life unlike Pyongyang (or any other North Korean city). Not to mention cellular networks and smartphones. Broadway and night clubs. Times Square and Greenwich Village. Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show. Trains and air planes. Allowing anyone to get where the party is. New York City. Things they don’t have in North Korea. Because North Korea doesn’t have capitalism. Like New York City. The city that never sleeps. Thanks to electric power lighting up the night. Something North Korea doesn’t have. Because North Korea doesn’t have capitalism. Or lights.
The American left loves liberal New York City. It is the center of their world. Even though it was built with capitalism. But the left loves socialism. And communism. Where they put people before profits. And those people sit in the dark doing nothing once the sun sets. And defecate in holes in the ground because they have no flush toilets. Something else you can do all night long in heated buildings throughout New York City. Because New York City has capitalism. Which makes life better. At least according to the American left. For their favorite city is a city that capitalism built. Unlike that communist city they’re not flying to for a good time. Pyongyang.
Tags: American Left, capitalism, Communism, dictator, flush toilet, Hitler, New York City, North Korea, people before profits, profits before people, Pyongyang, Soviet, Soviet Union, Stalin
(Originally published May 8th, 2012)
Capitalism allows Entrepreneurs to bring their Great Ideas to Life
Entrepreneurs start with an idea. Of how to do something better. Or to create something we must have that we don’t yet know about. They think. They create. They have boundless creative energies. And the economic system that best taps that energy is capitalism. The efficient use of capital. Using capital to make profits. And then using those profits to make capital. So these ideas of genius that flicker in someone’s head can take root. And grow. Creating jobs. And taxable economic activity. Creating wealth for investors and workers. Improving the general economy. Pulling us out of recessions. Improving our standard of living. And making the world a better place. Because of an idea. That capitalism brought to life.
Entrepreneurs Risked Capital to bring Great Things to Market and to Create Jobs
Henry Ford established the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899. Which failed. He reorganized it into the Henry Ford Company in 1901. Ford had a fight with his financial backers. And quit. Taking the Ford name with him. And $900. The Henry Ford Company was renamed Cadillac and went on to great success. Ford tried again and partnered with Alexander Malcomson. After running short of funds they reorganized and incorporated Ford Motor Company in 1903 with 12 investors. The company was successful. Some internal friction and an unexpected death of the president put Ford in charge. Ford Motor built the Model A, the Model K and the Model S. Then came the Model T. And the moving assembly line. Mass production greatly increased the number of cars he could build. But it was monotonous work for the assembly line worker. Turnover was high. So to keep good workers he doubled pay in 1914 and reduced the 9-hour shift to 8 hours. This increased productivity and lowered the cost per Model T. Allowing those who built the cars to buy what they built. In 2011 the Ford Motor Company employed approximately 164,000 people worldwide.
Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard established Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 1939. In a garage. They raised $538 in start-up capital. In that garage they created their first successful commercial product. A precision audio oscillator. Used in electronic testing. It was better and cheaper than the competition. Walt Disney Productions bought this oscillator to certify Fantasound surround sound systems in theaters playing the Disney movie Fantasia. From this garage HP grew and gave us calculators, desktop and laptop computers, inkjet and laser printers, all-in-one multifunction printer/scanner/faxes, digital cameras, etc. In 2010 HP employed approximately 324,600 employees worldwide. (Steve Wozniak was working for HP when he designed the Apple I. Which he helped fund by selling his HP calculator. Wozniak offered his design to HP. They passed.)
Steve Jobs had an idea to sell a computer. He convinced his friend since high school, Steve Wozniak, to join him. They sold some of their things to raise some capital. Jobs sold his Volkswagen van. Wozniak sold his HP scientific calculator. They raised about $1,300. And formed Apple. They created the Apple I home computer in 1976 in Steve Jobs’ garage. From these humble beginnings Apple gave us the iPad, iPhone, iPod, iMac, MacBook, Mac Pro and iTunes. In 2011 Apple had approximately 60,400 full time employees.
Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker opened the first Starbucks in 1971 in Seattle, Washington. About 10 years later Howard Schultz drank his first cup of Starbucks coffee. And he liked it. Within a year he joined Starbucks. Within another year while traveling in Italy he experienced the Italian coffeehouse. He loved it. And had an idea. Bring the Italian coffeehouse to America. A place to meet people in the community and converse. Sort of like a bar. Only where the people stayed sober. Soon millions of people were enjoying these tasty and expensive coffee beverages at Starbucks throughout the world. In 2011 Starbucks employed approximately 149,000 people.
Ray Kroc sold Prince Castle Multi-Mixer milk shakes mixers to a couple of brothers who owned a restaurant. Who made hamburgers fast. Richard and Maurice McDonald had implemented the Speedee Service System. It was the dawn of fast food. Kroc was impressed. Facing tough competition in the mixer business he opened a McDonald’s franchise in 1955. Bringing the grand total of McDonald’s restaurants to 9. He would go on to buy out the McDonald brothers (some would say unscrupulously). Today there are over 30,000 stores worldwide. In 2010 McDonald’s employed approximately 400,000 people.
Richard Branson started a magazine at 16. He then sold records out of a church crypt at discount prices. The beginning of Virgin Records. In 1971 he opened a record store. He launched a record label in 1972. And a recording studio. Signing the Sex Pistols. And Culture Club. In 1984 he formed an airline. Virgin Atlantic Airways. In 1999 he went into the cellular phone business. Virgin Mobile. In 2004 he founded Virgin Galactic. To enter the space tourism business. His Virgin Group now totals some 400 companies. And employs about 50,000 people.
The Decline of Capitalism and the Rise of the Welfare State caused the European Sovereign Debt Crisis
And we could go on. For every big corporation out there will have a similar beginning. Corporations that use capital efficiently. Bringing great things to market. Introducing us to new things. Always making our lives better. And more comfortable. One thing you will not find is a great success story like this starting in the Soviet Union. The People’s Republic of China (back in the days of Mao Zedong). East Germany (before the Berlin Wall fell). North Korea. Or Cuba. No. The command economies of communist countries basically froze in time. Where there was no innovation. No ideas brought to life. Because the government kind of frowned on that sort of thing.
There is a reason why the West won the Cold War. And why we won that war without the Warsaw Pack and NATO forces fighting World War III. And why was this? Because we didn’t need to. For the communist world simply could not withstand the forces of living well in the West. Whenever they could their people escaped to the West. To escape their nasty, short and brutish lives. In the command economies of their communist states. Where the state planners failed to provide for their people. Even failing to feed their people. The Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China and North Korea all suffered population reducing famines. But not in the West. Where we are not only well fed. But our poor suffer from obesity. Which is not a good thing. But it sure beats dying in a famine.
Sadly, though, the West is moving towards the state planning of their one time communist foes. Social democracies are pushing nations in the European Union to bankruptcy. Japan’s generous welfare state is about to implode as an aging population begins to retire. Even in the United States there has been a growth of government into the private sector economy like never before. Which is causing the Great Recession to linger on. As it caused Japan’s lost decade to become two decades. And counting. As it is prolonging the European sovereign debt crisis. With no end in sight. The cause of all their problems? The decline of capitalism. And the rise of the welfare state. Which just kills the entrepreneurial spirit. And the creation of jobs. Which is one cure for all that ails these countries. And the only one. For only robust economic activity can pull a country out of recession. And for that you need new jobs. And the entrepreneurial spirit. In short, you need capitalism.
Tags: Apple, Apple I, assembly line, Bill Hewlett, Branson, calculator, capital, capitalism, coffee, coffeehouse, Communist, computer, corporation, Dave Packard, decline of capitalism, economic activity, entrepreneurs, european sovereign debt crisis, European Union, famine, Ford, Henry Ford, Hewlett, Hewlett-Packard, Howard Schultz, HP, idea, investors, Italian coffeehouse, Japan, jobs, Kroc, McDonald's, North Korea, Packard, People's Republic of China, profits, Ray Kroc, recession, Richard Branson, rise of the welfare state, Schultz, social democracies, sovereign debt crisis, Soviet Union, standard of living, Starbucks, state planning, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Virgin, welfare state, West, workers, Wozniak
President Obama’s Cairo Speech of Islamist Appeasement Emboldened our Enemies
Candidate Barack Obama said during the 2008 presidential campaign that he would talk to our enemies. Without preconditions. He would discontinue the gunboat diplomacy of George W. Bush. Instead he would open a dialogue with the people who wanted to kill us. Find out why they wanted to kill us. And then resolve those issues that caused our enemies to want to kill us. Which was the core of his foreign policy. Being nice to our enemies to get them to like us. And once they did they would stop killing us.
Some say this started with the Obama apology tour. With his message of appeasement in Cairo in June 2009. Where he told our militant Islamist foes, those people who have a tendency to kill Americans, we only want to live together in peace. And that there is a level of conservative Islamism that was acceptable to the United States. When the Arab Spring began in Iran (a sponsor of anti-American/Western terrorism) in June of 2009 (after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won reelection despite reported irregularities) President Obama did nothing to support the Iranian protestors. And the enemies of the United States took notice. The Cairo speech of appeasement. Not condemning the Iranian election results and telling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that he had to go (as he would tell Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak). The message was clear. America’s enemies could do whatever they wanted. Even become a rogue nuclear power (see Iran: US and others ‘surrendered before the great Iranian nation’ in nuclear deal by Alexander Smith posted 1/14/2014 on NBC News).
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said world powers including the United States “surrendered before the great Iranian nation” in agreeing an interim nuclear deal with his country, state media reported Tuesday.
Iran reached the deal with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the U.S., Canada, Britain, China, and Russia– and non-member Germany…
Speaking to a crowd gathered in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan on Tuesday, Rouhani said: “Do you know what the Geneva agreement means? It means the big powers have surrendered before the great Iranian nation.”
Apparently appeasing our enemies only makes our enemies bolder. And stronger. Which is probably not a good thing. North Korea is a rogue nuclear state. But their need for food and energy make it unlikely that they will launch a nuclear weapon. They have so far used the threat of doing so just to get what they desperately needed. Food and energy. Militant Islamists, though, want to rid the world of anyone who is not a militant Islamist. Even if they have to die in the process. Which they don’t mind. Because for them this world is only the prelude for the far better afterworld. Whereas the regime running North Korea has no desire to die. They enjoy living in the here and now. And know that won’t continue if they launch a nuclear weapon.
Neville Chamberlain opened a Dialogue with a Lying Adolf Hitler who lied to Chamberlain
The Allies blamed Germany for World War I. And the Versailles Treaty made the peace following the war a difficult one for Germany. Blame for the war, war reparations, loss of territories, emasculation (severe limits on Germany’s military strength), etc. It did a number to German esteem. Especially when they didn’t technically lose World War I. The war ended in an armistice. Where the combatants agreed to a cease fire as they were all exhausted by war. Of course, America’s entry into the war would have most likely led to a German surrender. For they were not yet exhausted by years of war. And could extend the conflict indefinitely until Germany did surrender. But that didn’t happen. Which made for a lot of angry Germans when the Allies treated them as if they had surrendered unconditionally. Setting the stage for an Adolf Hitler to come to power. Which is what happened.
The war left the Germans isolated. Russia pulled out of World War I before its completion and devolved into revolution. Bringing the communists to power. Replacing Russia with the Soviet Union. These developments left them, too, isolated in the post-war world. And then these two isolated nations found each other. Signing the Treaty of Rapallo in 1922. Renouncing any territorial or financial claims between them from the war. And becoming trading partners. Among other things. Such as using Soviet soil to rebuild German armed forces in direct violation of the Versailles Treaty. Where they trained for armor warfare. Built an air force. And even developed chemical weapons. This new eastern friendship had another shared interest. Poland.
Germany and Russia lost portions of Poland following World War I. And they wanted them back. But Hitler tested the waters first. To see how the war-weary allies would react. He marched troops into the demilitarized Rhineland in violation of the Versailles Treaty. And the Allies did nothing. Hitler sent an ultimatum to the Austrian chancellor to hand over power to the Austrian NSDAP (i.e., Austrian Nazi Party) or he would invade Austria. The Austrian chancellor did. And Hitler’s Wehrmacht marched triumphantly into Austria the following day. And the Allies did nothing. Then Hitler turned his eyes to Czechoslovakia. And the Sudetenland. Which he wanted to annex into the Third Reich. And he was willing to do this with an armed invasion. Something that got the war-weary Allies’ attention. For the last thing they wanted in Europe was another war. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met with Hitler. And opened a dialogue with him. Finding Hitler to be a reasonable man. And the Allies agreed to give Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland to Hitler. With Czechoslovakia having little say in the matter. But it was for the greater good. “Peace in our time.” And it was the last territorial acquisition he wanted. He promised. So Hitler got the Sudetenland. And within 6 months Hitler took the rest of Czechoslovakia. Without firing a single shot. Because the Allies were so eager to appease Hitler that they never considered that he was lying to them. Which he was.
The Treaty of Rapallo allowed the Nazis to build the War Machine they eventually Unleashed on the Soviet Union
With the southern border of Poland secured thanks to the Allies giving Czechoslovakia to Germany it was time to recover their lost territory in Poland. All they needed was a little help from their new best friend. The Soviet Union. And it came in the form of a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union. The Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics signed August 23, 1939. Promising that neither would go to war with the other. Or ally with a nation that does. As well as the secret agreement to invade and divide Poland. As well as dividing up Bessarabia, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, etc. Then, on September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland. Launching World War II. Something they couldn’t have done if it weren’t for their new best friend. The Soviet Union.
After Poland came Norway. Then France and the Low Countries. The British held the Nazis off in the Battle of Britain. Then came North Africa. Yugoslavia. And Greece. Then came Operation Barbarossa. Starting on June 22, 1941. Something Hitler thought about since writing about it in Mein Kampf back in 1925. Finding Lebensraum (i.e., living space) for the German people. In particular the Bread Basket of Europe. The Ukraine. Which if you know your history, and your geography, was part of the Soviet Union. Yes, that’s right. Hitler lied to Joseph Stalin to get what he wanted. Launching off points for the conquest of the Soviet Union. A land he viewed as filled with sub-humans he would kill off with famine after taking their food.
The Soviet people paid a dear price for their leader’s treachery. Enduring hell on earth on the Eastern Front. With some 20 million dead by the time it was over. It was these innocent Soviets who won World War II. Who wore down the Germans with their wholesale dying. At times 10 Soviets dying for every one German. None of which would have happened if Stalin had read Mein Kampf. Or if he didn’t make a pact with the Devil that led to World War II. The secret agreements in the Treaty of Rapallo. Letting the Nazis develop the war machine they eventually unleashed on the Soviet Union. Which just goes to show you that you need to understand who your enemies are. And once you do you cannot try to make nice with them. For they will turn on you once you’ve served your useful purpose. Just like Hitler turned on Stalin. As Iran will turn on the United States after they served their useful purpose in getting them their nuclear weapons. And when that time comes the cost of that war will be far greater than it would have been if it was fought before they had nuclear weapons. With scenes from that war looking more like Hiroshima and Nagasaki than the hell on earth of the Eastern Front
Tags: Adolf Hitler, apology tour, Austria, Barack Obama, Cairo speech, Communist, Czechoslovakia, dialogue, Eastern Front, German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, Germany, Hitler, Iran, Islamism, Islamist, Joseph Stalin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mein Kampf, militant Islamist, Nazi, Neville Chamberlain, North Korea, nuclear, nuclear power, nuclear weapon, Obama, Operation Barbarossa, Poland, President Obama, Russia, Soviet, Soviet Union, Stalin, Sudetenland, Treaty of Rapallo, Versailles Treaty, World War I, World War II
Week in Review
During the days of the British Empire Great Britain had a problem. They loved Chinese tea. But the British had nothing the Chinese wanted in trade. Except for one thing. Silver. Hard money. Which was a problem for Britain. They were running out of hard money. So they came up with an ingenious way to solve that problem. By getting as many Chinese hooked on opium as possible. So they could trade Indian grown opium for Chinese tea. It worked out great for the British. But the Chinese didn’t like it. And fought two opium wars with the British. Which did not end well for them.
North Korea has a hard money problem, too. And they, too, turned to drugs. Crystal meth. Which North Korea manufactured in state-run labs. Destined for China. Where they tried to get as many people addicted to crystal meth as possible. So they can sell it in exchange for Chinese currency. Which they could use to buy Chinese food. To help ward off famine in North Korea. This worked pretty well for North Korea. But only gave China another addiction problem.
In the United States the government found other ways to raise revenue. The first two big sources of addiction-revenue were cigarette and alcohol taxes. But it soon proved not enough. They then got people addicted to playing the lottery. When that revenue proved to be insufficient they then got people addicted to casino gambling. But government spending had grown so great that this revenue was still not enough. So the government is looking at other things to get people addicted to (see Why Legalizing Marijuana Is a Smart Fiscal Move by Bruce Bartlett, The Fiscal Times, posted 1/3/2014 on Yahoo! News).
Perhaps the dominant factor driving marijuana legalization is the desperate search for new revenue by cash-strapped state governments. The opportunity to tax marijuana is potentially a significant source of new revenue, as well as a way of cutting spending on prisons and law enforcement. The California Secretary of State’s office, for example, estimates savings in the hundreds of millions of dollars from both factors. The following summary is from a proposed state ballot initiative in California (No. 1617)…
It is not surprising that revenue considerations should be critical in the marijuana legalization movement. That was previously the reason why cigarettes were not banned until the 1920s despite a strong nationwide movement to do so. In the wake of Prohibition, governments simply needed cigarette tax revenue too badly. And when Prohibition ended, the need for new revenue after the Great Depression decimated government budgets was a driving force.
Indeed, according to author Daniel Okrent, expectations of the revenue from taxing legal liquor were so great in 1932 that some people thought it might permit the repeal of income taxes. It’s worth remembering that in 1900, taxes on alcohol and cigarettes constituted half of all federal revenues. Indeed, the only reason Prohibition was possible in the first place was that the income tax established in 1913, which was greatly expanded by World War I, would replace the revenue lost from the liquor tax after Prohibition.
There have been no great cuts to revenue like that following Prohibition. Government spending has just grown so great that it far exceeds the nation’s ability to pay for it with current taxes and borrowing. So they are looking to make people addicted to marijuana to help pay for their large public sectors. As well as their vote-buying welfare state. And when this proves insufficient they can turn to other sources of revenue. Such as decriminalizing and taxing heroin. Cocaine. Crack. Crystal meth. Opium. Even prostitution. People are already doing these things. So they can’t be any worse than marijuana. As long as only responsible adults indulge in these activities. Just as only responsible adults will smoke marijuana in Colorado. For think of the tax revenue heroin, cocaine, crack, crystal meth and opium could generate. For those drugs are really addictive. And just think how much old rich men would enjoy 18 year old prostitutes. Prostitution would be a booming business to tax. These young women could generate great tax revenue for the government by just doing what consenting adults want to do.
We could do these things to find new sources of revenue. Or we could NOT make people addicts. Or NOT sell women into prostitution. Instead we could cut the size of the public sector and the welfare state. So we can cut spending. Which would eliminate the need to produce new tax revenue in the first place. Allowing people to keep their hard-earned money instead of handing it over to the government. To pay for generous pensions and retiree health care for others.
Tags: addiction, alcohol, China, Chinese, cigarette, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, Great Britain, heroin, marijuana, North Korea, opium, Prohibition, Prostitution, public sector, revenue, spending, tax revenue, taxes, tea, welfare state
Oppression and Lies are Standard Fare for a Communist Dictatorship
Communists are pragmatic. They know what they want. And they do what it takes to get what they want. For them the ends justify the means. No matter how horrible those means can be. And they’ve been pretty horrible. As communists have been among the greatest abusers of human rights. Something their people are not too keen on. As well as those living in the free world. So communists do something else a lot. They lie.
When you want to do things against the will of the people you need to either lie to the people. Or oppress the people with a large police state. Which can be costly. Because you have to take care of your police apparatus so they oppress the people and don’t turn on you. That’s how all dictators stay in power. Life is horrible in their countries. But it’s pretty good at the top. And those who protect those at the top. North Korea still suffers from recurring famines. Yet those at the top never go hungry. Or suffer the abject poverty of the people. And it’s been this way for a long time. A system maintained with the firm hand of the state. From Kim Il Sung to Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong Un. As the Kim family succession continues to keep life horrible in North Korea (see North Korea announces execution of Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek by Chico Harlan posted 12/12/2013 on The Washington Post).
There have been no outward signs of instability under Kim Jong Un, and the North has largely maintained its key policies, resisting economic reform, devoting money to its weapons program and maintaining a gulag system for those accused of political crimes.
Kim Jong Un’s uncle was Jang Song Thaek. I say was for he is no more. Jang was in the inner circle of Kim Jong Il and thought to be a potential successor. But that didn’t happen. As Kim Jong Un had those honors. But Jang was around a long time. And knew a lot of people. Which, of course, made him a threat. So Kim Jong Un had him arrested, put him on trial for crimes against the state and executed. Telling the people he was a “traitor for all ages” and was “despicable human scum” and was “worse than a dog.” He demonized him to get the people to accept that this execution was just. And to send a message. He held power. And anyone thinking otherwise will be demonized and executed. Standard sort of fare for a communist dictatorship. Oppression. And lies.
You get the People to ask for more Government by Buying their Votes with a Cradle-to-Grave Welfare State
A communist state has its drawbacks, though. The aforementioned abject poverty and recurring famines. Because as an economic system planned economies just don’t work. But a free market economy tends to put ideas into people’s heads. Such as we don’t really need the government as much as the government wants us to believe we need them. In the movie V for Vendetta this was something Chancellor Sutler impressed upon his lieutenants. It was imperative to let the people know how much they needed British socialism. Which is not quite communism. But it’s anti-free market capitalism just like communism. And a little easier to sell to the people. For despite the left’s love affair with communism it is hard to spin that as anything other than it is. Horrible. I mean, people aren’t trying to break into North Korea and Cuba. They’re risking their lives to escape these communist utopias.
So those on the left adopted a new type of socialism. Social democracy. Which was communism/socialism lite. It wasn’t as anti-free market capitalism as communism/socialism was. So as not to bring about the abject poverty and recurring famines you got with communism/socialism. And you backed off on the oppressive police state. Instead, you get the people to ask for more government. By buying their votes with a cradle-to-grave welfare state. And a lot of government jobs with decent pay and wonderful benefits. To make the people love the state. And impress on them how much they need the state.
Of course this bloated welfare state is costly. Which they pay for with a progressive tax system. A tax system that is ‘fair’. By making the evil rich pay higher taxes so the good poor and the innocent children can have a decent life. Not just those evil rich people. And how do you oppose this? You can’t. Unless you hate the poor. And the children. Which is what the left says about the opposition whenever they oppose new spending. Or higher taxes. Of course, having to fight these battles over taxes and spending can be a pain in the behind. So the state takes care of those in the inner circle of power. Those who think correctly. Who help get the people to ask for these taxes and spending. The media who helps to spread their propaganda. And the educational system. That teaches the young to grow up loving government. And fearing free market capitalism. Then you add the coup de grâce. National health care.
President Obama lied over and over again to put America onto the Pathway towards National Health Care
Every communist/socialist dictatorship had/has national health care. For once the people become dependent on the state for their good health the state has them for life. And whenever the opposition resists higher taxes for more spending all you have to do is kill some people by making them wait longer for health care that the opposition denied them. Causing outrage among the people. Who demand that the opposition stop playing politics with their lives. The left’s kind of oppression. Having the people beg for more government. This is why national health care (or something that will help usher in national health care) is the holy grail of the left. And why President Obama lied through his teeth to pass the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) into law (see Lie of the Year: ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it’ by Angie Drobnic Holan posted 12/12/2013 on PolitiFact.com).
PolitiFact has named “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” the Lie of the Year for 2013. Readers in a separate online poll overwhelmingly agreed with the choice…
The Affordable Care Act tried to allow existing health plans to continue under a complicated process called “grandfathering,” which basically said insurance companies could keep selling plans if they followed certain rules.
The problem for insurers was that the Obamacare rules were strict. If the plans deviated even a little, they would lose their grandfathered status. In practice, that meant insurers canceled plans that didn’t meet new standards.
Obama’s team seemed to understand that likelihood. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the grandfathering rules in June 2010 and acknowledged that some plans would go away. Yet Obama repeated “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it” when seeking re-election last year…
Also on Oct. 1, insurers started sending out cancellation letters for 2014…
One example: PBS Newshour interviewed a woman from Washington, D.C., who was a supporter of the health care law and found her policy canceled. New policies had significantly higher rates. She told Newshour that the only thing the new policy covered that her old one didn’t was maternity care and pediatric services. And she was 58…
First, they tried to shift blame to insurers. “FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans,” said Valerie Jarrett, a top adviser to Obama, on Oct. 28.
PolitiFact rated her statement False. The restrictions on grandfathering were part of the law, and they were driving cancellations.
Then, they tried to change the subject. “It’s important to remember both before the ACA was ever even a gleam in anybody’s eye, let alone passed into law, that insurance companies were doing this all the time, especially in the individual market because it was lightly regulated and the incentives were so skewed,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
But what really set everyone off was when Obama tried to rewrite his slogan, telling political supporters on Nov. 4, “Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law, and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”
Pants on Fire! PolitiFact counted 37 times when he’d included no caveats, such as a high-profile speech to the American Medical Association in 2009: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
President Obama lied. Over and over again. He lied to get this pathway to national health care into law (for once he destroys the private health insurance industry what will be left but a public option?). And he lied to win reelection. President Obama lied. And his fellow Democrats lied. Over and over again. To put America onto the pathway towards their holy grail. National health care. The linchpin of the massive cradle-to-grave welfare state. The one thing that allows the state to tax and spend more than anything else. And puts the opposition into the position of wanting to kill people anytime they oppose higher taxes and more spending. Which has a lot more staying power than a government shutdown.
What can you say about someone who lies (at least) 37 times? That person is a pathological liar. A pragmatic. A person who believes the ends justify the means. That the rule of law is only a suggestion. A person that will say anything and break any law to get what he wants. And is willing to kill people by taking away the health insurance they liked and wanted to keep. By taking away the doctor they liked and wanted to keep. And by taking away the medication they liked and wanted to keep. Fear and suffering President Obama and his fellow Democrats and supporters in the media and education are indifferent to. For their greatest concern is how will this hurt President Obama? This is what those on the left worry about. Their dear leader. Not the people. Just like the inner circle surrounding every tin-pot dictator worry about. For if the people turn on the dear leader they may overthrow him. And with him go their privileged lives amidst the abject poverty and recurring famines surrounding them.
Tags: abject poverty, Affordable Care Act, capitalism, Communism, Communist, cradle-to-grave welfare state, dictators, dictatorship, ends justify the means, famine, free market economy, grandfathering, higher taxes, If you like your health care plan, Jang, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un, liar, lie, National health care, North Korea, Obamacare, oppress, oppression, Pants on Fire, police state, PolitiFact, pragmatic, President Obama, President Obama lied, recurring famines, social democracy, socialism, socialist, spending, welfare state
The United States has the Best Health Care System in the World
The left says that the United States is the only advanced economy that doesn’t have national health care. As if that is a bad thing. Which is a false assumption. Because Canada, the United Kingdom and North Korea all have national health care. But if you have a serious health problem where do you want to go? Canada? The United Kingdom? North Korea? Or the United States?
Unless you’re lying to yourself you said the United States. Because the United States has the best health care system in the world. If you have the means you travel to the US for the best in medical care. Which is what a lot of Canadians do. Thanks to that great private network just south of the border. The US health care system. For no one suffering from a serious health problem ever said, “Damn, I wish it wasn’t so difficult to get to North Korea so I can get some of their national health care.”
There is a progression from good to bad. At the good end is the United States health care system. Then Canada because it is the private sector delivering health care services paid for by a single-payer. The government. And, of course, their access to the US health care system. Then the United Kingdom which is national health care provided by the government. Unless you’re rich and can afford the private system available to those with the means. Then North Korea. Where there is no private sector alternative. Only the state-run national health care system. And the quality of their health care is as horrible as life is in North Korea.
Those who say we should have National Health Care because Everyone Else has it are either Ignorant or Devious
So the more private sector in health care the better health care is. The less private sector in health care the worse it is. North Korea is the worst because it has no private sector at all. While America is the best. Because it has the most private sector. With the worst health care in America being the small amount of state-run health care. The VA and Medicaid. Medicare is a little better but it’s more like the Canadian health care system. The government pays the private sector for its Medicare services. And the best health care is that enjoyed by unions and government workers—pure private sector health care.
This is why NOT having national health care is NOT a bad thing. Because NOT having national health care has allowed the United States to have the best health care system in the world. So those who keep saying we should have national health care because everyone else has it are either ignorant or devious. Either way we shouldn’t be listening to them.
It’s the left that wants national health care. Liberal Democrats. It’s not the right. Conservatives. And what do we know about liberals and conservatives? They have opposing views of the government’s role in our lives. Liberals feel the more the better. Because they love having power over others. While conservatives want what the Founding Fathers wanted. Limited government. Where the people have the power. In a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Just as Abraham Lincoln said in his address at Gettysburg.
The Left wants National Health Care because it makes Government more Important in our Lives
If we return to the ‘ignorant or devious’ question the answer is now clear. Health care is approximately one-sixth of the U.S. economy. If the government controls that it will be the largest expansion of government into our lives. Making all people dependent on government. So instead of scaring only Social Security, Medicare and food stamp recipients with a government shutdown the government can frighten everyone. Imagine the next time the government wants to raise the debt limit. It’s not the White House tours or the World War II Memorial that they will close because of the sequester/government shutdown. It will be our health care system.
This is why they want national health care. Because it makes government more important in our lives. And people will see how much we need government. This is want they want. They want this so bad they will be devious and lie to us. By first telling us that our health care system—the best health care system in the world—is broken. And then to sell the Affordable Care Act they told us that if we liked our health insurance we could keep our health insurance. And that if we liked our doctor we could keep our doctor. Even though they wrote the Affordable Care Act to make sure we lost our health insurance and our doctors.
Because of Obamacare businesses stopped hiring full-time people. And pushed full-time people to part-time. Our health insurance premiums are rising. As are our deductibles. Making health insurance unaffordable for those who don’t have employer-provided health insurance. As well as making some low-cost plans illegal under Obamacare. Causing a lot of people to get letters from their insurers in the mail telling them they are cancelling their health insurance. As people complain that President Obama lied to them he and his fellow Democrats say these people are actually lucky. Because they had ‘crap’ policies. Which was further proof that our health care system is broken. They say this despite the strongest of evidence proving otherwise. For people who bitch about losing their health insurance and doctors don’t think the health care system is broken.
Tags: Affordable Care Act, best health care system in the world, conservatives, doctors, health care system, health care system is broken, health insurance, liberals, National health care, North Korea, Obamacare, private sector, state-run health care
Week in Review
The Syrian civil war began in March of 2011. And is still ongoing. Some two and a half years later. And over 100,000 killed. While displacing close to 3 million refugees. It is a devastating conflict. But President Obama made no attempt to help the opposition topple the Assad government. Despite it being a close ally of Iran. No, President Obama did nothing to intervene just as he chose to sit out Iran’s Green Revolution. Another regime that can be pretty cruel to its people. Yet President Obama told Hosni Mubarak that he had to leave Egypt. And he used U.S. airpower to help topple Colonel Gaddafi from power in Libya. Both men were U.S. allies at the time when President Obama helped unseat them from power. Yet two countries that can’t be considered friends of the United States in any way (Iran and Syria) he does nothing. Odd.
The Syrian civil war has been going on for so long that al Qaeda joined in. Looking to fill that power vacuum should the Assad regime fall. As the civil war intensified and the opposition begged for foreign aid President Obama stood firm. Not wishing to get involved. Unless the Syrians crossed the red line. And used chemical weapons. Well, someone used chemical weapons. We’re not sure who did. It may well have been the opposition to get the U.S. to bomb a stubborn Assad government out of power. But people died from the use of chemical weapons. Perhaps as many as 1,500. Of which about 500 have been children. A tragedy too great to even contemplate. And one that made President Obama go to Congress to get permission to wage war on those responsible. With many on the left supporting his call for a military response. Which is highly unusual to say the least.
Now chemical weapons are horrible and frightening. But an additional 1,500 dead after 100,000 already lost their lives? Those chemical deaths are only about 1.5% of the total dead. When Saddam Hussein killed 3,200-5,000 Kurds and Iranians in a Chemical attack on the town of Halabja there wasn’t quite the same response from the left. In fact, when Saddam Hussein failed to document the destruction of his chemical stock piles per the treaty that ended the Gulf War they still showed little concern. Though they did vote to give George W. Bush permission to wage war against Iraq as the polls showed they were on the wrong side of the issue when they at first opposed the measure. Even calling for a second vote to get their vote on the record. But when no weapons of mass destruction were found they were both embarrassed and elated. Saying that Bush lied to get the country into war. Due to flawed intelligence reports. And a strong desire to go to war. To finish what his dad started in the Gulf War. They have attacked Bush mercilessly ever since. But now the shoe is on the other foot. And here they are wanting to go to war because of weapons of mass destruction. Many of which could be from Iraq. Delivered on trucks seen leaving Iraqi weapons dumps on the eve of war. Or flown to Syria (see Syria’s Chemical Weapons Came From Saddam’s Iraq posted 7/19/2013 on IBD).
But none of that matters now. What does is that someone in Syria crossed the red line. And because innocent men, women and children died from poison gas we have to do something. Even though we haven’t done a damn thing to help people suffering under worse tyrants for about half a century in North Korea (see Up to 20,000 North Korean prison camp inmates have ‘disappeared’ says human rights group by Julian Ryall posted 9/5/2013 on The Telegraph).
There are fears that up to 20,000 may have been allowed to die of disease or starvation in the run-up to the closure of the camp at the end of last year…
The report, North Korea’s Hidden Gulag: Interpreting Reports of Changes in the Prison Camps, reveals that two camps have been shut down in the last year but that 130,000 individuals are still being held in penal labour colonies across the country.
“Through this vast system of unlawful imprisonment, the North Korean regime isolates, banishes, punishes and executes those suspected of being disloyal to the regime,” the report states.
“They are deemed ‘wrong-thinkers’, ‘wrong-doers’, or those who have acquired ‘wrong-knowledge’ or have engaged in ‘wrong-associations’…”
Reports suggest that a severe food shortage meant that little was passed on to inmates and that numbers dwindled rapidly from 30,000 to 3,000…
“North Korea’s 2009 currency devaluation (whereby camp authorities were reportedly unable to purchase food in markets to supplement the crops grown in the camps), combined with bad harvests, resulted in the death of large numbers of prisoners after 2010,” the report states…
Inmates – who can be imprisoned for life, along with three generations of their families, for anything deemed to be critical of the regime – are forced to survive by eating frogs, rats and picking corn kernels out of animal waste.
Activists say that as many as 40 percent of inmates die of malnutrition, while others succumb to disease, sexual violence, torture, abuse by the guards or are worked to death. Men, women and children are required to work for up to 16 hours a day in dangerous conditions, often in mines or logging camps.
Things are bad in Syria. But North Korea has just about the poorest record on humans rights in the world. And this has been going on for decades. You almost have to go back to Nazi Germany to see oppression on this scale. But do we attack North Korea? More women and children have suffered and died in North Korea than they have in Syria. So why Syria and not North Korea?
North Korea does have nuclear weapons. And a border with China. Are these the things that eliminate principles? Killing women and children is wrong in Syria but it’s okay in North Korea? Is this all it takes to devalue the lives of women and children? If so God help the women and children of the Middle East when Iran gets their nuclear weapons.
A lot of liberals hate the military. And jocks. As these people bullied a lot of liberals back in high school. Which is why a lot of them go into government. To have power over other people that they never had before. But they’re still that kid in high school. They’ll push around Egypt and Libya when it seems everyone in the area is against them. Nations they feel they can bully without any repercussions. But an Iran or a North Korea? That’s like walking up to and punching the big bully in high school. Something they were too frightened to do in High School. And are still too frightened to do now.
Except in Syria. Which is now more of a religious conflict along the great Sunni-Shia divide of Islam. With the extreme elements of both sides fighting it out in Syria. Perhaps this is why the president and the left are willing to intervene now. Because whoever wins now in Syria will likely be anti-American. Just like Libya turned out with four dead Americans in Benghazi. And just like Egypt fell to the Muslim Brotherhood after President Obama told Hosni Mubarak he had to go. Perhaps they’ll feel safer because they helped our enemies a little. And because of that our enemies will now like us. And they will stop giving us wedgies and noogies. Figuratively, of course.
Tags: Al Qaeda, Assad, Bush, chemical weapons, Egypt, George W. Bush, Gulf War, Hosni Mubarak, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, President Obama, red line, Saddam Hussein, Syria, Syrian civil war, weapons of mass destruction
Week in Review
Keynesian economists, and those on the left, think there is nothing wrong with printing money. Because they don’t understand money. What it truly is. So what is money? It’s a temporary storage of wealth. It is not wealth. Doctors make a lot of money because they have learned great skills. Skills few people have. And doctors are willing to exchange these skills for money. The wealth is a doctor’s skills. The money temporarily holds this wealth until the doctor finds something to trade that money for. From someone else that has wealth. Who created something of value the doctor is willing to trade for.
All money did was make this trading of valuable things easier. So we could trade with anyone even if they don’t want anything we can make or do. A doctor doesn’t have to find someone who wants their gallbladder removed who has a television set if the doctor wants a television set. The doctor can just go to a store and buy one. Because of money. Making the exchange of goods and services far easier than in a barter system.
Those who think money is wealth and that we should just print it and hand it out to the people are missing one very important point. If you did this no one would have to work. Those on the left would applaud that. But if no one worked there would be no valuable things to trade. And if there are no valuable things to trade then your money is worthless. For if there is nothing to buy what good is having money?
North Korea has a lot of money. But their money is worthless. Because they just print it. While their economy contains no valuable things to trade. Not a big problem in a closed economy. And you make your people slaves. But it’s a problem if you want to trade with the outside world for the luxury items the lucky few in the ruling elite enjoy. For if you have no valuable things in your economy then you must trade for valuable things with hard currency. Money that isn’t worthless paper. So North Korea came up with a way to get hard currency (see How North Korea got itself hooked on meth by Max Fisher published 8/21/2013 on The Washington Post).
A new study published in the journal North Korea Review says that parts of North Korea are experiencing a crystal meth “epidemic,” with an “upsurge” of recreational meth use and accompanying addiction in the country’s northern provinces…
So how do people in North Korea, a country where markets are so tightly regulated that even video CDs can be considered dangerous contraband and where social controls are often beyond Orwellian, manage to get hold of meth..?
The problem actually goes back to the 1990s, when North Korea experienced a famine so devastating that virtually the entire world believed the country would collapse at any moment. But it didn’t, in part because Pyongyang finally decided to open up the world’s most closed economy just a small crack, by allowing a degree of black market trade across North Korea’s border with China. The idea was that the black market would bring in food, which it did, preventing North Korea’s implosion.
The black market trade into China has remained that little bit open ever since, either because Pyongyang authorities can’t close it now or because they see some trade as beneficial, probably both. Some provinces along the border have seen their economies liberalize a tiny, tiny bit — most notably North Hamgyung, which is named in the North Korea Review report as particularly blighted by meth addiction.
In the years after the border with China opened that little crack, two other things have happened that led to the current meth crisis. First, medicine ran out and the once-not-terrible health system collapsed — more on this later. Second, North Korea started manufacturing meth in big state-run labs. The country badly needs hard currency and has almost no legitimate international trade. But it was able to exploit the black market trade across the Chinese border by sending state-made meth into China and bringing back the money of Chinese addicts.
This is where things started to spin out of control for North Korea. The state-run meth factories and the cross-border black market trade started to mingle. And some of that meth ended up migrating back across the border and into North Korea, through the black market trade that brings in Chinese rice and DVDs and the like.
This is where the collapse of the North Korean health system becomes relevant. As Isaac Stone Fish reported in a great 2011 Newsweek story, many regular North Koreans started using meth to treat health problems. Real medicine is extremely scarce in the country. But meth is much more common, which means that the prices of medical drugs are artificially inflated, while the price of meth is artificially low. In a culture without much health education and lots of emphasis on traditional remedies, people were ready to believe that meth would do the trick for their medical problems, and many got addicted.
Poor Chinese. First the British got them addicted to opium. Then North Korea got them addicted to meth. It appears the Chinese people are nothing but pawns in the game of international trade.
Back in the days of mercantile Britain trade was all about who collected the most hard currency. Basically gold and silver in those days. The British loved Chinese tea. And were filling ships full of the stuff to bring it back to Britain. The problem was that the Chinese didn’t want anything the British were selling. So Chinese goods were flowing to Britain. But no British goods were flowing to China. And without having exports to offset imports Britain was forced to trade the only thing they had that China wanted. Their hard currency. Their silver. So Chinese goods flowed out of china. And Britain’s hard currency flowed out of Britain. So China was accumulating piles of hard currency while Britain saw their piles diminish. Which was the exact opposite mercantile Britain wanted. So they did something about it. Thanks to India.
India was part of the British Empire. And she grew opium poppies. Something some Chinese did want. So the British used this opium demand to stop the flow of hard currency out of the empire. And traded Indian opium for Chinese tea. This solved the trade deficit problem. But it created a lot of addicts in China. The addiction problem got so bad that it spawned two wars. The Opium Wars. Which did not end well for China. And things did not get better in the century or so that followed. And now here is North Korea. Turning Chinese into addicts to get hard currency out of China (and into North Korea). Just like the British did. Of course, North Korea is nothing like the mighty British Empire. So one would believe that China is allowing this addiction problem to happen. As it is probably a smaller price to pay than the refugee problem should North Korea collapse. And they may like that North Korean buffer between them and South Korea. Japan. And the United States.
North Korea is everything the left would like to have in the United States. Tightly regulated markets. National health care. No rich people accumulating private property. Where they frown on profits. The even put people before profits. Just like liberals want to do. There’s no talk radio. No Rush Limbaugh. No Fox News. No free trade. No low-cost imports to undermine union manufacturing. No obesity. Because there is no junk food. And no 32 ounce sugary beverages. And a government that can do what is right for the people without having to worry about a Tea Party challenger in the next primary election. North Korea is liberal nirvana. Yet life there is horrible and wretched. Because it’s everything liberals want. But nothing the people want.
Liberals want to keep expanding government. To have more government intervention into the free market. But where does it end? How far do they want to take things towards North Korea before they say they have enough? And why anyone should worry about this is because as horrible and wretched life is in North Korea, those in the ruling elite have it pretty darn good. Because the people in charge of these regimes never suffer like the people outside of the ruling elite. So the farther they move towards North Korea the less they have to worry about an election taking away their comfy life. This is why we should worry about a government growing larger. For throughout world history life like that in North Korea has been the norm. While life like that in the United States has been the exception. And the United States has only been around for 225 years (counting from the ratification of the U.S. Constitution). A crazy new fad the entitled ruling elite (i.e., liberals) would like to do away with. So they can rule like they did in the good old days. Much like they do today in North Korea. Where the supreme ruler, Kim Jong-un, has an obesity problem. One of the few in North Korea that isn’t gripped with a gnawing hunger every minute of every day. This is life in a country where the ruling elite hates capitalism. And puts people before profits. This liberal nirvana. Those in power live well. While everyone else suffers.
Tags: addiction, black market, Britain, British Empire, China, Chinese addicts, Chinese tea, hard currency, India, Indian opium, Keynesian, liberal, liberal nirvana, meth, meth addiction, money, North Korea, opium, Pyongyang, ruling elite, silver, trade, wealth
Week in Review
You know the machines are taking over the world when everyone must have a smartphone these days. Even the North Koreans (see Skepticism as NKorea shows home-grown smartphone by Youkyung Lee, AP Technology Writer, posted 8/16/2013 on Yahoo! Finance).
North Korea’s announcement that it is mass producing a home-grown smartphone has been met with skepticism in the tech industry in South Korea and abroad.
The North’s state media last week showed leader Kim Jong Un inspecting “Arirang” phones at a Pyongyang factory. The Korean Central News Agency’s Aug. 10 report said the factory began manufacturing smartphones “a few days ago” and they were already in high demand.
No. They’re not.
…access to the global Internet is severely restricted and mobile phones used on the state-authorized network cannot make overseas calls. The North’s Intranet gives access to government sanctioned sites and works with its own browsers, search engine and email programs, according to South Korea’s Unification Ministry.
So, in other words, people can use these smartphones to only access the state propaganda that they are already being bombarded with. Not the rich entertainment environment available just south of the border in South Korea. Where people actually want smartphones. Well, not smartphones per se. But the cyberworld the smartphones bring to them. A cyberworld strictly FORBIDDEN for the average North Korean. So, yeah, there is a high demand for smartphones in North Korea. Just as there is a high demand for famine and state-oppression. Which, sadly, are the only things North Korea has an abundance of.
The 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce and the Korean Peninsula remains technically at war. Since then, the South has prospered and produced giant corporations such as Samsung Electronics Co., which is the world’s biggest maker of smartphones, computer memory chips and displays. The North’s economy has languished under socialist central planning though the capital Pyongyang is an oasis of relative affluence.
And there’s the problem. Socialist central planning. If that would ever go away the people could use smartphone like their neighbors to the south. As well as losing their constant fear of famine. And state-oppression. Of course for that to happen will require the reunification of the Korean Peninsula. With the North becoming like the South, of course.
Tags: central planning, cyberworld, famine, Korea, Korean peninsula, North Korea, North Korean, Pyongyang, smartphone, socialist central planning, South Korea, state oppression
Week in Review
The former Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China (back in the days of Mao), North Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba all have great police states. Not to keep people out of their countries. But to prevent the people inside their countries from escaping to the capitalist West. Why? Life was better in the capitalist West than in the communist East. Where nations in the capitalist West didn’t need a secret police to keep their people from escaping. But needed strong immigration controls to keep their countries from being overwhelmed by refugees trying to escape to their lands. Yet despite this history of communist failures there are still communist parties in countries trying to attract voters. Preferably the ones who don’t know about that history of failure (see Communist Party makes a comeback … in Japan by Gavin Blair, The Christian Science Monitor, posted 8/5/2013 on Yahoo! News).
Founded in 1922, the JCP is the oldest political party in Japan, and has enjoyed constant representation in parliament for longer than any other. But until recently, its image was one of older activists and it struggled to attract younger voters.
July’s elections were the first in Japan where online campaigning was permitted, and it was the JCP that is widely seen as having made best use of it. As well as savvy leveraging of social networks and video streaming platforms, the party created a series of online mascot characters that addressed individual issues such as the planned consumption tax hike, shady business practices, the heavy US military presence on Okinawa, and constitutional change.
“We were able to use the Net to reach out to younger people, many of whom don’t read newspapers or watch TV much. Through the characters, we could communicate issues simply and appeal to young voters,” says party spokesperson Toshio Ueki, who reports that the characters’ webpages got 1.5 million hits in the weeks before the poll.
Sound familiar? That’s how President Obama won election twice. By reaching out to younger people. The people who probably know the least about economics. And history. That’s how people who want to change a country do it. By getting people who don’t have the foggiest idea about what happened in the world in the last century or so. Who simply don’t know of what people tried. And what has failed. With communism pretty much at the top of the list of things NOT to do based on past history.
If we did take power, the JCP wouldn’t try to implement a Communist economy immediately. It would require huge changes and we would seek the support of the people for each step,” Kira says. “And we would want to use the best parts of the current economic system, too.”
Japan is pretty close geographically to some of the great communist failures. The former Soviet Union. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) back in the days of Mao. Vietnam. And, of course, North Korea. Places that have all gotten better with a move away from communism and towards capitalism. Except North Korea. Which is pretty much unchanged. And the former Soviet Union. Which is no more. But the biggest part of the Soviet Union lives on. Russia. Which had moved towards capitalism. But now is drifting back a bit.
History has shown where there is unfettered free markets life is better. For this is the direction of all immigration. From countries with highly fettered markets to countries with less fettered markets. Older people know this. People who read history know this. Or lived it. People who understand classical economics know this. But young people? They haven’t a clue. Which is why all candidates who want to expand the power of the state over the people target young people. For with them all they have to do is to promise more stuff and more freedom. Even if they promise to deliver these with policies that have throughout history done anything but.
Tags: capitalist West, Communism, communist East, communist failures, communist party, East, free markets, Japan, JCP, Mao, markets, North Korea, North Vietnam, People's Republic of China, secret police, Soviet Union, West, young voters, younger voters
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