Tag Archives: Capitalism

Standing Rock Sioux v DAPL – Pino’s Solution

standing-rock-sioux

There is a protest in North Dakota.

For all that’s been said, it follows the general political story:

  1. The liberals* have correctly identified a wrong
  2. They have zero clue how to implement a solution

The Indian’s greatest mistake, being susceptible to disease is not a mistake, is to trust the United States Federal government.  After centuries of being absolutely abused, I am continually astonished that they are astonished the government would screw ’em at the first opportunity.

Here is my very simple two step process to solve the situation.

  1. End the notion that there exists, in any legal manner, the concept of a Sovereign Nation.  There is none.Zero sovereign nations outside the 50 great states of these United States exists.

    Period

  2. Stop with this reservation bullshit.  Deed the land to each member of the tribe so that each member/family has their own equal and private ownership of said reservation land.Now each individual can contract that land as their individual circumstance would dictate.  Wanna sell it?  Sell it.  Wanna lease it?  Lease it.

    Wanna tell DAPL to shove it – do that too.

End of story.

  • There is no small irony that the same group of people that mock me for the belief in a “White Haired Gandolph sitting on a throne” myth would get so “offended at the thought” of a sacred site of long dead and dust ancestors.I, of course, understand.  But I acknowledge the existence of Deity, of the after life, of sacredness and all that comes with it.  I just for one blessed minute would like to be spared the indignation of sacrilege while praising such things as “The Piss Christ”.

    By the way, just 3 years ago a ‘sacred burial ground of MY people’ was dug up and moved to make way for a housing complex.  Not an exact parallel but jeepers.  Compensation was offered, negotiated and accepted.  Honoring of the dead ancestors was preserved and protests = 0.

    Just sayin’.

Capitalism – Not Bernie – Reduces Poverty

Global Poverty

With Bernie Sander’s most recent campaign it would be easy to believe that we are poor and getting poorer.  And that the only salvation available to us is to beg government to save us.

Let us never forget – the natural state of man is poverty and the only cure to date, the ONLY condition where the lot of the everyday man has improved, is freer and more open markets:

Despite the recent recession in the West, absolute poverty is continuing to retreat in fast-growing developing countries. The escape from poverty that was once limited to the industrialized countries of the West is also happening in “the rest.”

Unfortunately, many people remain unaware of the dramatic decline in global poverty, let alone the reasons for it.

According to an announcement released this week by the World Bank, “less than 10% of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty by the end of 2015.”

The bank has “used a new income figure of $1.90 per day to define extreme poverty, up from $1.25. It forecasts that the proportion of the world’s population in this category will fall from 12.8% in 2012 to 9.6%.”

Now, to be sure, 9.6% is still high  – higher than it should/could be.  So whence came you?

Grinding poverty was the norm for most ordinary people throughout human history. As recently as 1980, the World Bank estimated that 50% of the global population lived in absolute poverty.

Even in the most economically advanced parts of the world, life used to be miserable until relatively recently.

At the end of the 18th century, to give one example, France had the fourth highest standard of living of any country in the world, behind the U.S., Great Britain and the Netherlands.

Yet, 10 million of France’s 23 million people relied on some sort of public or private charity to survive, and 3 million were full-time beggars.

All of this occurred, of course, with not a single Commissar in charge of this phenomenal growth.

Cast off the chains of regulation and throw open the doors of the freer market!

What Other System Would Pope Francis Recommend?

Capitalism.2

I get it – I do.  I get the disdain for that human condition that causes otherwise good people to act in dishonorable ways in order too accumulate wealth.  In fact, as part and parcel to that dishonor is the fact that people and their feelings are ‘hurt’.  It is most often described as ‘greed’ – though I would propose that the word ‘greed’ is often misused.

THAT is different.  That type of behavior IS not desired and can be considered immoral.  But just as that is true is the fact that capitalism is a powerful force for the general improvement of the lot of the average man.

Consider this chart, courtesy of Mark Perry over at Carpe Diem:

Decline of World Poverty

In the words of of Arthur Brooks:

It turns out that between 1970 and 2010 the worst poverty in the world – people who live on one dollar a day or less – that has decreased by 80 percent (see chart above). You never hear about that.

It’s the greatest achievement in human history, and you never hear about it.

80 percent of the world’s worst poverty has been eradicated in less than 40 years. That has never, ever happened before.

So what did that? What accounts for that? United Nations? US foreign aid? The International Monetary Fund? Central planning? No.

It was globalization, free trade, the boom in international entrepreneurship. In short, it was the free enterprise system, American style, which is our gift to the world.

I will state, assert and defend the statement that if you love the poor, if you are a good Samaritan, you must stand for the free enterprise system, and you must defend it, not just for ourselves but for people around the world. It is the best anti-poverty measure ever invented.

Think of that – how much money would the ‘do good nanny state liberal leftist’ have been willing to spend in order to accomplish this feat?  There is no end to that amount.

So, I ask the good Pontiff – ‘If not capitalism, what then?”

His answer can only be – “The continuation of the abject poverty experienced by billions of Christians previously in the care of the Catholic Church for 2,000 years.”

Why Capitalism Is Good

Wal MartSo much is said regarding ‘greed’ and ‘corporations’.  Let’s not forget that until the advent of free trade and individual property rights – the common peasant was destined to farm the same land with the same tools as their ancestors.

The benefits of free trade:

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pushed down prices for some generic prescription drugs to just $4 eight years ago, setting a new industry standard. Now it is trying to do the same for seeing a doctor.

On Friday, a Walmart Care Clinic opened in Dalton, Ga., six months after Walmart U.S., the retailer’s WMT, +0.27%   biggest unit, entered the business of providing primary health care. It now operates a dozen clinics in rural Texas, South Carolina and Georgia and has increased its target for openings this year to 17.

An office visit costs $40, which Walmart U.S. says is about half the industry standard, and just $4 for Walmart U.S. employees and family members with the company’s insurance. A pregnancy test costs just $3, and a cholesterol test $8. A typical retail clinic offers acute care only. But a Walmart Care Clinic also treats chronic conditions such as diabetes. (Walmart U.S. also leases space in its stores to 94 clinics owned by others that set their own pricing.)

“It was very important to us that we establish a retail price in the health-care industry because price leadership matters to us,” said Jennifer LaPerre, a Walmart U.S. senior director responsible for health and wellness, in an interview.

Health Care is just another commodity that, when subjected to the free market, will bend to the advantage of the consumer.

Capitalism Is Evil And Wicked

Capitalism

Capitalism And The Rise Of The One Percent

If you aren’t careful, the only thing going on in the world is the rising wealth of the 1% at the expense of the rest of us.

The rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer.

Don’t believe it.

Continue reading

NAFTA – The Power of Choice

Fruit

I often use the imagery of a full produce selection at my local grocery store to make the point that freer markets are better than less free markets.  Further, I like too make the point that while there are those Americans considered poor, they have options available to them that the most powerful kings in the world didn’t just 100 years ago – maybe 50.

It’s January here in North America – and yet you can go into nearly every supermarket and put fresh blueberries, raspberries, bananas and tomatoes into your cart.  It’s to the point of trivial.  For example, we just returned from Baltimore where my daughter competed in a dance conference.  As part of the routine, we make “adult punch” for the parents to enjoy after a long and stressful weekend.  Without even blinking an eye I add fresh oranges, mangos, blueberries and apples.

We have such abundance of fruit that in the middle of winter I can use it for such discretionary purposes as flavoring sangria.

Amazing what opening markets can do:

Continue reading

Economic Freedom

An interesting story from Ethiopia – something for everyone:

Northern Ethiopia is rugged and poor. It is a place where people mostly get by as subsistence farmers. The government and international organizations like the World Bank have tried and failed for years to improve the well-being of locals. But then, one village went and did it all on its own.

The community is called Awra Amba. About 500 people live here in simple wattle and daub houses, and they keep busy in a variety of money-making activities.

The village has a mill, where grain is crushed into flour. There is a textile factory, where villagers make clothes for themselves and to sell. You will also find a café, a tourist hostel, and two stores that cater to people from outside the village.

With all of these businesses, Awra Amba has managed to pull itself out of poverty. Compared with the rest of the region, the average income here is more than twice as high. Literacy rates are higher than in neighboring villages. Mortality rates are lower.

“Everyone here dreams of becoming more prosperous — that’s a big reason why our economy has grown faster than others,” says Zumra Nuru, who founded the village 40 years ago as a kind of utopian community. He says at the time, he was dissatisfied by the injustice he perceived in traditional Ethiopian culture and wanted to organize a society along more egalitarian lines. He also saw the community as a way to increase wealth.

“We use all our time for work and to improve our village,” he says.

One reason the people of Awra Amba are able to work so hard is that they do not follow organized religion.

In neighboring Christian and Muslim villages, residents respect the Sabbath and holidays. “They have quite frequent religious days, so on those days, they don’t go to [do] farming work,” says sociologist Ashenafi Alemu of Ethiopia’s University of Gondar. “But for Awra Amba, this is not the case. They work every day.”

The lack of religion is not the only competitive advantage for Awra Amba. The village invests a lot of energy in educating its children and diversifying its economy. It also embraces gender equality. You will see women here doing what is traditionally considered “men’s work,” like plowing, which effectively doubles the workforce.

Hard work, lack of religion and gender equality.

Indeed!

Medical Doctor Alternatives

Doctor

I think that one of the reasons our medical care system is so expensive is that the system is not built to match procedure to appropriate expert.

For example, there are very skilled landscapers in this world capable of designing and building stunning works of art in the natural world.  And then there is the need to have your lawn mowed.  Imagine how expensive it would be to obtain a contractor to mow your lawn if you were required to hire that highly skilled, trained and often time licensed landscape designer.

Another example I came across was during a conversation with my mother-in-law.  We were discussing health care and costs and I mentioned that it’s unfortunate that I need to see an MD to have a finger reset, x-rayed and cast when I’m sure it could be done by a PA at most and perhaps a nurse at worst.

[ there may be cases where this is possible – i was using the specific example to make the larger point ]

She objected claiming that if it was her, and had she the insurance that she indeed has, she would insist on not only a doctor but then an orthopedic specialist.

Why the editorial?  I saw this and was confronted that without allowing price to act as a signal, we may not be getting optimal results:

Midwives, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other non-doctors do as good a job as MDs in the care they deliver — and patients often like them better, a World Health Organization team reported on Thursday.

These non-physicians are especially effective in delivering babies, taking care of people infected with the AIDS virus, and helping people care for chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, the team reported in a WHO bulletin.

The findings extend from the poorest nations to the United States and Europe, they said. While some physician groups have resisted wider use of such professionals, they should embrace them because they are often less expensive to deploy and are far more willing to work in rural areas, the WHO experts said.

“There are some obvious advantages in terms of relying on mid-level health workers,” WHO’s Giorgio Cometto told NBC news in a telephone interview.

“They take less time to be trained. Typically, they cost less to remunerate. In some countries they are more likely to be retained in rural areas.”

David Auerbach, a researcher at the Rand Corp., says other studies have shown the same thing. “There’s really not much difference you can find in the quality,” he said.

But we don’t allow the delivery of medical services be exposed to the market.  And so people are not going to shop their needs on said market.  Additionally, we have special interest groups, read AMA, that lobby to create legislation that make it illegal to see anyone BUT a doctor for such commoditized services.

 

Obama’s Legacy

Barack Obama

I think that Harsanyi is on to something here:

One of the most seductive parts of President Barack Obama’s political message (and the message of progressive Democrats in general) is sympathy for the poor and a willingness to talk about the disparities of capitalism — about the rich being too rich and the poor being screwed. In some ways, it’s the predominant message of the Obama era.

Now, if you’re heavily invested in the market, life is peachy. A confounding fact, no doubt, when one considers that nearly every economic indicator known to mankind has been pretty abysmal of late. We are experiencing high unemployment, a shrinking labor force, stagnant gross domestic product growth and rickety consumer confidence. A disconnected market, though, has been on a historic boom. So if we need any more proof that life really isn’t fair, think about this: The rich have the Federal Reserve, and you have Harry Reid.

What does it mean in substance? According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data, thanks to a robust stock and bond market, coupled with a lousy housing market, the recovery has meant that households with a net worth in the upper 7 percent have seen their net worth rise, on average, by nearly 30 percent in the years after the recession and that everyone else’s net worth has dropped by an average of 4 percent.

The economic gap between whites and minorities is even worse. According to the Urban Institute, whites, on average, have two times the income of blacks and Hispanics and six times the wealth, and that gap is accelerating.

This is going on, if you can imagine, even after a tax hike on the wealthy.

The brutal and bitter reality of liberal policy is that the very people they claim they are helping are getting hammered.  And just as those very folks who are getting screwed by the democrats go to vote, they are going to hear that it’s all because of the republicans.

In all of history, nothing has improved the lot of the ordinary man in the way that a freer and more open market has.  Increased government regulation leads only to the poor remaining poor.

America’s Vision of Prosperity

I’m pretty sure this explains a lot.  And why I’m continually surprised by conversations that I have with people out and about.  America is changing how she views the path to prosperity and security.

53% of democrats have a positive image of socialism.  While I’m sure few respondents don’t have an accurate definition of the word socialist or socialism, the idea is the same; “Someone else labors to my benefit.”