Archive for the ‘progressive socialism’ Category

DC Council sells its citizens down the river

July 11, 2013

Washington, DC minimum wage is $8.25 per hour, already higher than most states across America. District residents are poorly served by low-priced big retail stores. For several years, a sequence of mayors has tried to lure Walmart to the District. Three Walmart stores are currently under construction. Three more are planned.

Yesterday, the DC Council vented its hatred of Walmart by passing new legislation by an 8 to 5 vote. The Council Bill would raise the minimum wage on retailers with stores of at least 75,000 square feet, requiring that such retailers must pay a minimum of $12.50 per hour. Except that all existing big retailers and unionized retailers – like Safeway and Giant – are exempt from the hike. Only Mayor Vincent Gray’s veto stands in the way of this discriminatory legislation.

Walmart has responded immediately by cancelling the three newstores, should the bill become law. It is reviewing its contracts to determined whether to abort the three stores under construction. No wonder Congress is more than reluctant to grant DC statehood. What manner of corruption and ineptitude would follow when an electoral majority is completely devoid of forward-looking intelligence

When it comes to macro-economic forecasting, LSE failure breeds LSE success

July 8, 2013

“During a briefing on 5 November 2008 – conducted with big wall-chart graphs – about the ongoing ‘financial crunch’, the Queen dropped a (bombshell) question on the assembled throng of academics. ‘If these things were so large, how come everyone missed them?’ The venue (the LSE) was certainly a highly pertinent place for the Queen to ask the question about macroeconomic forecasting, as in the previous year (2007-8) the LSE had been the largest single institutional recipient of UK taxpayer finance for economic/econometric research funnelled via the Economic and Social Research Committee (ESRC a quango, 100% taxpayer-financed). Moreover, it is now openly admitted by a leading (and Nobel laureate) economist at the LSE, Professor Christopher Pissarides, that he and others at the LSE (and elsewhere) had failed to foresee the nature, timing and severity of the crunch.

what has the ESRC actually done?…at an (announced) cost to taxpayers of 5 million pounds sterling, it has set up a new Centre for Macroeconomics, based on LSE and chaired by Christopher Pissarides, but also encompassing (we are told) University College, London, Cambridge University, the Bank of England, the NIESR, and ‘other leading global institutions’ (read a charmed circle of selected insiders’. John Burton, http:// http://www.iea.org.uk/blog/more-macro-quackery

LSE has learned well how to make big money out of its major intellectual failures. Would this happen if the monies had to be raised from private sources? What do you think, dear readers.

Islamic theocracies cannot survive economically in the global economy

July 7, 2013

In a distinctly bad sign for the future of Egypt, the military dictatorship buckled to appease Islamic fundamentalists yesterday, rejecting a secular candidate for Prime Minister after earlier announcing that he had been appointed to that position.

From the perspective of my column posted yesterday, this sets a disastrous precedent. Theocracies fare badly economically in the modern world. Islamic theocracies are also fundamentally hostile to any true concept of democracy.The reason for this is that Islam as a religion is still trapped in the 14th century. Sharia law is viewed as supreme over any secular thinking. And the idea that an illiterate 7th century Prophet can determine institutions required for a modern global world economy is simply ludicrous. It is equivalent to believing that the pre-Reformation Spanish Inquisition could provide good economic governance for the West.

The die, it would appear, has now been cast. Egypt will remain a seriously economically undeveloped, repressive nation for many years to come. The military has chosen England’s 1660 Restoration over its 1689 Bill of Rights. Some 30 years of the equivalent of the Stuart doom will surely follow.

Cause for concern this Independence Day

July 4, 2013

Lovers of freedom in the United States will rightly celebrate the Fourth of July, as the day when courageous colonists challenged the authority of the World’s greatest military power.They will rightly savor the words penned by Thomas Jefferson, words, that boldly put the People before the State.

Many such American freedom lovers, however, will blend their joy with concern and sorrow at recent trends in the governance of their nation. They are now aware that two United States presidents – George W Bush and Barack Obama – have created a comprehensive surveillance system designed to collect and evaluate every telephone, call, email, twitter and facebook message transmitted by any American citizen. Agents of some of the most ruthless and authoritarian agencies of the federal government make such use as they choose of information so garnered. This is a prerequisite for any effective police state. The network massively exceeds that established by the East German Stasi prior to 1989.

They are now aware that a vengeful United States president, Barack Obama, is so fearful of information leakages that may emanate from patriot Edward Snowden, that he has pulled the airplane of the President of Bolivia from the skies, in order to have it searched for Snowden by agents of a country, Austria, that once willingly merged to become a compliant component of Hitler’s Third Reich.

They will be aware that Julian Assange, another messenger of freedom, is holed up in the Ecuardorian Embassy in London, a refugeee from Obama vengeance, and that the British government is compliantly providing the police cordon that prevents his run from Obama’s hounds of Hell.

So we shall celebrate the memory of July 4, 1776, while mourning the loss of the vision of those Founding Fathers who risked their lives to create a once exceptional Nation.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi ousted by military coup

July 3, 2013

On July 3, 2013, after tanks and troops were deployed close to the presidential palace in Cairo, Egyptian Defense Minister, Abdelfatah al-Sissi appeared on television to announce that President Morsi had been deposed.An army-backed plan for political transition in Egypt will begin immediately with a short period of interim rule before new presidential and parliamentary elections. The coup occurred two years after President Obama bribed the Egyptian military to stand down and allow U.S. ally President Hosni Mubarak to be removed by a popular revolution.

I wonder how President Obama and his three witches – Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Powers-Sunstein – are reacting to this welcome news. After all they were so besotted by the Muslim Brotherhood and its extremist version of Sharia Law that they allowed a loyal ally of Israel to be displaced in favor of an an overtly anti-Semitic government in the most important country in the Middle East. Earlier this week, Obama deflected all relevant questions targeted at his Middle Eastern policy. The U.S. President is either politically clueless or in favor of the implementation of Sharia Law with respect to the governance of this once great country.

News of the successful coup must be largely welcomed by lovers of freedom. Of course, there are risks that the military may attempt to administer the country for longer than they have suggested. That is the nature of an autocracy. However, some autocracies are much to be preferred to some democracies. Egypt is clearly not yet ready for democracy in its effective pluralistic form. If the military, even though motivated solely to raise the value of the many Egyptian assets that it owns, reverses Morsi’s disastrous thrust to socialism, that alone will provide Egyptians with economic freedoms that they desire. Political freedom can wait a while, until the population at large matures and comprehends the nature of the secular choices that should be made at some future ballot box.

Egypt’s President Morsi threatened with army coup

July 1, 2013

General Sisi today gave President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government forty eight hours to satisfy those demonstrating against his government or to expect an immediate Egyptian army intervention.This follows a rising wave of popular uprisings against Morsi’s attempt to thrust Sharia Law down the throats of a once secular nation. Muslim Brotherhood corrupt socialism has taken the Egyptian economy to the very edge of an economic black hole. Only ill-advised financial support from Qatar stands in the way of this total collapse.

When a political party is voted into office by religious zealots with no understanding of global economics, this is the fate that awaits its under-educated leaders. No doubt the military will force Morsi and his closest advisers into exile, rather than executing them. Wisely the army will restore secular rule to Egypt and make some marginal moves towards a market economy.

However, an enormous burden of responsibility for this disaster rests on the shoulders of President Obama and his three witches – Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Powers-Sunstein – who deliberately cast off a trusted ally when President Mubarak asked for support during the first phase of the so-called Arab Spring. Any serious reading of the Tahrir Square occupation should have advised the U.S. government to leave things alone, and to allow Egypt to take the slow road to democracy.Instead, the Obama administration bribed the Egyptian army to stand aside in order to allow Mubarak to fall.

At a minimum, one might have thought that Obama would have learned the lesson from Jimmy Carter’s stupidity in encouraging a similar fateful upheaval to occur in Iran.

President Obama in turbulent waters steers a boat without a compass

June 30, 2013

When a president is elected into office on the basis of affirmative action criteria, the nation would be fortunate indeed if the elected official were to be truly competent. The United States has enjoyed no such good fortune. President Obama’s first term clearly demonstrated an exceptional level of incompetence in matters economic and international, the two key functions of any modern presidency.

To achieve re-election, Barack Obama had to run an entirely negative campaign that vilified his Republican opponent, a man of evident success in economic affairs, though inexperienced in matters international. Because he could not run on his record, and would not run on a coherent future policy platform, President Obama returned to the White House bereft of almost any policy program capable of attaining majority support in both houses of Congress.

Six months into his second term, President Obama appears to be completely lost, aimlessly steering the vessel of state in increasingly turbulent waters, without any compass to define his direction. Domestically, his only viable policy is immigration reform and he has abandoned details of any such action to the Congress. His economic policy is in a shambles, unacceptable either to Democrats or Republicans, or any combination of both. His international policies are in ruins, as powers, both great and small, respond to his overtures with varying degrees of open contempt.

If the situation does not change – and effective change appears to be beyond the reach of this diminished administration – President Obama will be remembered only for Obamacare. And Obamacare promises to be the most disastrous program ever unfolded on the United States.

This is what predictably happens when criteria other than past performance and future potential are applied by a majority of an electorate in two successive presidential elections. Eight years of uninterrupted incompetence gives rise to a great deal of ruin in a nation.

Lieutenant Ben (Bligh) Bernanke attempts to round Cape Horn

June 29, 2013

In 1787, Lieutenant William Bligh set sail from England on the cutter Bounty, headed first for Tahiti, where he was to pick up breadfruit trees and ferry them to the Caribbean where they might produce food for the growing slave population. To save time, Bligh steered the Bounty to Cape Horn, rather than taking the calmer passage around the Cape of Good Hope.

After a month of unremitting turbulence, during which the Bounty was tossed like flotsam by the waves and gale-force winds, Lieutenant Bligh recognized that he would never round the Horn. Instead, he was forced to change direction and to steer his vessel to the Cape of Good Hope. Though reaching Tahiti, and loading his ship with bread fruit trees, Bligh never reached the Caribbean. Instead, his crew mutinied and set him loose on a long-boat allowing him plenty of time to rue his initial directional decision.

Chairman Ben Bernanke now confronts the dilemma of Lieutenant Bligh. Having pursued a relentless path of monetary expansion, designed to socialize U.S. financial markets, this week he determined to round Cape Horn in order to speed up the path to monetary stability. Immediately, Bernanke confronted the savage turbulence of dangerous financial waters together with gale-force political winds from the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress.

In an uncanny projection of the fate of Lieutenant Bligh, President Obama has assumed the role of the Master’s Mate, Fletcher Christian, in signaling mutiny. Ben Bernanke now has no chance of reappointment to a third term. 2014 is to be the end of the line for this loyal servant of the President. In the mean-time, Ben Bernanke has already blinked. After one month of unremitting turbulence, Chairman Bernanke will adjust the rudder and follow the compass to the more peaceful waters of continued monetary expansion.

However, have no doubt that Fletcher Christian will take him down well before the 2014 elections.

Morsi’s Egypt totters on the edge of an economic black hole

June 28, 2013

When the Obama administration stabbed U.S. ally, President Mubarak in the back, to curry favor with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, it surely could not have expected any outcome other than a Muslim Brotherhood victory at the polls. In this sense, President Obama owns the political-economic mess that now threatens to take Egypt down an economic black hole.

President Mohamed Morsi is an ill-educated religious bigot, typical of the Muslim Brotherhood that he now leads in the aftermath of Egypt’s Arab Spring. He has forced a Sharia-based constitution down the throats of the Egyptian people. He has demonstrated supreme incompetence in his attempt to lead a nation of 85 million people into a new era of prosperity. His personal support across the country has fallen from 58 per cent at his election in 2012 to 28 per cent in May 2013.

Having inherited a bloated and inefficient bureaucracy from his predecessor, Morsi has charged backwards to make it even worse. During the past two years, the budget deficit has skyrocketed to almost 12 per cent of gross domestic product. Cash injections from Qatar, Libya and Turkey are barely providing enough foreign currency reserves to cover three months of imports. The economic slowdown that he has provoked has increased poverty and unemployment with no sign whatsoever of any turn-around.

Investor confidence has totally evaporated and businesses are widely failing amid this foreign currency crunch. Morsi has failed to conclude a loan agreement with the IMF because he refuses to undertake austerity reforms that would start with a reduction in fuel subsidies. The country owes billions of dollars to oil and gas companies. Its sovereign debt and main banks have been downgraded by rating agencies sending them ever deeper into junk territory.

Morsi is a fourteenth-century throw-back president of a backward ruling party. The now only remaining hope for Egypt sadly is a military coup designed to return Egypt to a secular state and to impose austerity-based reforms that alone will pull Egypt back from the black hole that confronts it.

Hat Tip: Heba Saleh, ‘A revolution betrayed’, Financial times, June 28, 2013

Lady Macbeth ousted by reincarnated Thane of Fife

June 27, 2013

In a continuing drama reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Julia (the Red) Gillard has been forced out of office as Australia’s Labor Prime Minister by Kevin Rudd (Crudd to his many enemies), the man whom she ousted from the same office in June 2010. With political blood on both pairs of hands, Punch and Judy both appear to be headed for the knacker’s yard in the upcoming September 14, 2013 general election. A Newspoll survey this week shows Labor trailing the center-right Liberal Nationals by 43 per cent to 57 per cent.

Julia the Red, inevitably, blames her ousting on sexism, though she surely did not claim her 2010 coup on anti-male prejudice. In reality, the current blood-bath is a natural consequence of socialism. As the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher once famously noted: the problem for socialists is that sooner or later they always run out of other people’s money!

Julia Gillard conspicuously achieved this fate failing to balance the nation’s budget this year despite hiking an unpopular carbon tax onto the economy. As always under socialism, Australia’s economy is slowing, leaving her Party vulnerable to voter revenge.

Kevin Rudd’s immediate challenge is to convince voters that he presides over a united political party. Following a recent history with parallels to England’s Wars of the Roses, it is doubtful that this victory for the White Rose over the Red will convince Australian voters to stick with such a divided pair of houses. More likely, the September 14 Battle of Bosworth Field will see the White Rose defeated and governance returned to a Liberal National Tudor Rose.


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