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Posts Tagged ‘Biden’

Biden Has Always Been a Doofus…

Posted by M. C. on July 20, 2021

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Young Americans Resist Biden’s Covid Vaccination Campaign | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on July 3, 2021

Apparently unbeknownst to Zients and the entire US covid response team, it wasn’t a virus that stripped our freedoms, but the overreaching hands of power-hungry politicians who were incapable of reading basic data

Unfortunately, Americans’ reluctance to openly resist the lockdowns did a great deal to help the federal and state governments in their tyrannical efforts. Perhaps, the fact the vaccination campaign isn’t as successful as Biden’s team wished is a sign that next time Americans won’t be so easily pushed around.

https://mises.org/wire/young-americans-resist-bidens-covid-vaccination-campaign

Alice Salles

President Joe Biden has failed his vaccination goal. According to the White House, it is unlikely that at least 70 percent of Americans will receive a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by July 4. Despite this, officials say that Americans will still be protected enough to celebrate Independence Day with family and friends.

You heard that right. No ludicrous lockdowns or threat of lockdowns loom in the horizon. 

This should once and for all confirm that the pandemic never warranted any of the draconian responses that ruined 2020 for most of us. Even media outlets that have long played down lockdown skepticism such as Axios are pointing out that the latest White House message is “vastly different” than this time last year, “when public health officials and some governors were limiting large gatherings and pleading with the public to only host small, outdoor events for the holiday.”

So, what happened?

People Aren’t Falling in Line

In January 2021, a survey found that there were three groups that were less likely to take the coronavirus vaccine: black people, women, and conservatives. In spite of the difficulties the Biden administration would eventually face, the White House boosted its vaccination goal to 1.5 million Americans per day, stating that it expected to see at least 70 percent of the entire population fully vaccinated by Independence Day. 

Biden’s pleas fell on deaf ears as many states vaccinated below 60 percent of their population. Healthcare workers, members of the military, and even nursing home staff are refusing the shot. And across the country, employees are suing employers over vaccine requirements. It is clear people aren’t exactly going along with whatever Dr. Anthony Fauci says.

It is this reality that seems to have changed the White House’s tone.

Thanks to states like Florida, which have completely blown the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s covid narrative on social distancing and masks, and are now fighting vaccine passports, federal officials appear to understand that they can no longer intimidate and threaten their way to universal compliance.

During Tuesday’s press conference discussing the Biden administration’s expectations, Jeffrey Zients, the head of the White House covid response team, said that young Americans are fed up. They no longer believe the hype. 

“The reality is, many younger Americans have felt like Covid-19 is not something that impacts them and have been less eager to get the shot,” he said.

We Have Biden to Thank for Our Freedom

On Tuesday, Zients made yet another revealing comment. 

Instead of carrying on with the customary fear campaign, he hinted at how thankful all Americans should be for being allowed to celebrate the Fourth of July. After all, if it weren’t for the benevolence of those calling the shots in DC, he stated, we wouldn’t be “entering a summer of joy.”

Throughout the last five months, the President has set goals to rally the American people behind defeating this virus, with the most important and most ambitious being to celebrate our independence from the virus on July 4th—for America to look like America again. And thanks [to] the President’s whole-of-government effort and the American people stepping up to do their part, we are there. 

The virus is in retreat in communities across the country. We are entering a summer of joy, a summer of freedom. This is cause for celebration, and that’s exactly what Americans will be able to do on July 4th: celebrate independence from the virus.

Apparently unbeknownst to Zients and the entire US covid response team, it wasn’t a virus that stripped our freedoms, but the overreaching hands of power-hungry politicians who were incapable of reading basic data

Unfortunately, Americans’ reluctance to openly resist the lockdowns did a great deal to help the federal and state governments in their tyrannical efforts. Perhaps, the fact the vaccination campaign isn’t as successful as Biden’s team wished is a sign that next time Americans won’t be so easily pushed around.

Author:

Alice Salles

Alice Salles was born and raised in Brazil but has lived in America for over ten years. She now lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana with her husband Nick Hankoff and their three children.  

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Biden ‘Confesses’ – There Was No Insurrection!

Posted by M. C. on June 24, 2021

Another wowser of a Biden speech. And BTW cannons are legal to own.

While not long ago President Biden claimed the unarmed crowd that entered the US Capitol building was the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War, yesterday he told gun owners they’d need F-15s and nuclear weapons if they wanted to overthrow the government. So…what gives? Also today: CDC says Covid deaths now “preventable” and cases of post-vaccine heart inflammation skyrocket.

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Please! Someone Set Biden Straight on China ‘Squeezing’ Russia – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on June 22, 2021

What does matter is the impression President Putin got of a president highly experienced in foreign affairs, but bereft of accurate knowledge on some fundamental current realities (and the China issue is only one such questionable tack).

https://original.antiwar.com/?p=2012343150

by Ray McGovern

President Joe Biden’s words about China at the Geneva summit shows him to be woefully misinformed about the “world correlation of forces” (to borrow from an old Soviet term). He appears to be stuck in a decades-old paradigm of Sino-Russian hostility, which President Richard Nixon was able to leverage into key arms control agreements with Moscow during the early 70s.

In my first piece on the strategic backdrop for the summit, I noted that the triangular relationship had drastically changed in recent decades and that, although the triangle may still be equilateral, it is now essentially a matter of two sides against one – with Washington odd man out.

This is basic: How could any U.S. statesman be unaware? How is it that foreign policy “experts” could be telling Biden that the US can still try to play Russia and China off against each other amid the radically changed “correlation of forces” today?

Reviewing what Biden said about China, one is tempted to despair. Here’s the president at his solo, post-summit press conference:

“Without quoting him [Putin] – which I don’t think is appropriate – let me ask a rhetorical question: You got a multi-thousand-mile border with China. China is … seeking to be the most powerful economy in the world and the largest and the most powerful military in the world.

Plane-side just before departing Geneva, Biden added:

“… let me choose my words. Russia is in a very, very difficult spot right now. They are being squeezed by China. …”

How to Explain the Blather

It may be that Biden’s blather is properly attributed to his sophomore (now rising-junior) advisers, who fit the label used, back in the day, by China and Russia to excoriate each other as “great-power chauvinists” with the benighted view that the US is “exceptional” – “indispensable” – even. It may even be the case that Biden’s advisers are being influenced by similarly inexperienced pundits like those of the Washington Post.

The day after the date for the Geneva summit was announced, the Post asked “Why does everyone assume that Russia and China are friends?“:

On Monday, China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, arrived in Moscow, aiming to enhance a relationship that the Chinese Foreign Ministry this week said “has grown as solid as a rock through thick and thin.” This month, Russian President Vladimir Putin described ties between the two countries as being at the “best level in history.” He may have been reflecting on that moment in June 2019 when Chinese President Xi Jinping referred to him as “my best friend.”

As tensions rise between China and the United States, many commentators are taking this rhetoric at face value and warning about a growing kinship between the United States’ top two rivals. But it’s not so simple. To begin with, Moscow has more to fear from Beijing than Washington.

Or perhaps Biden’s team has indeed briefed him on the new realities, but the president’s long-term memory remains dominant. Recall that during the 70s, as Biden entered politics, the Russians and Chinese had been shooting at each other across that “multi-thousand-mile border,” China was claiming 1.5 million square kilometers of Siberia that had been seized and “occupied” by a handful of Cossacks and certified by centuries-old “unequal treaties” (that were, indeed, unequal). During the 70s and early 80s, it did seem as though the mutual hostility would last forever. (Full disclosure: I was CIA’s principal analyst on Sino-Soviet relations during the 60s and early 70s, and I shared that view. For commentary on how and why this all changed, please see “US-Russia Ties, from Heyday to MayDay” and “Russia-China Tandem Shifts Global Power.

So, it seems equally possible that Biden’s advisers have clued him in, and his memory remains in a kind of time-warp. Which is the more likely explanation for Biden’s benighted words on China? It doesn’t matter all that much – at least compared to what I believe to be the expected reaction on the part of Biden’s Russian interlocutors..

What does matter is the impression President Putin got of a president highly experienced in foreign affairs, but bereft of accurate knowledge on some fundamental current realities (and the China issue is only one such questionable tack). While top Chinese officials had the opportunity to brief the Putin team on the indignities they suffered at the hands of Secretary of State Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan in Anchorage on March 18, it seems likely, nevertheless, that Biden’s comments on China left Putin shaking his head in disbelief. This cannot be a good thing.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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Have We Learned Nothing? Biden Backs Mass Murder in the Middle East | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on June 19, 2021

Once again, Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a complete mockery of his post as America’s top diplomat. As Dave DeCamp, news editor at Antiwar.com, has written:

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/have-we-learned-nothing-biden-backs-mass-murder-in-the-middle-east/

by Connor Freeman

The Gaza Strip, measures only 25 miles long and five miles wide. It is one of the most densely populated places on the planet.

Since 2007, Israel has imposed a full blockade on Gaza from the air, land, and sea. The two million Palestinians living there (half of which are under the age of 18) are trapped in an open air prison where food, potable water, electricity, medicine, building materials, etc. are severely restricted by the Israeli authorities.

The latest Israeli military operation in Gaza was called “Guardian of the Walls,” a reference no doubt to the walls enclosing the Palestinian population of mostly refugees, victims of Zionist settler colonialism, forcibly prevented from returning home. Highlighting the unfairness of the fight, at the war’s onset reports described Israeli tanks and 80 aircraft, including  F-35’s, being deployed against a people militarily conquered and occupied since 1967. The Gazans have no air force, no navy, and no control over their borders, airspace, or coasts.

Following 11 days of bombing, an Egypt brokered ceasefire was accepted after multiple offers were rejected by Tel Aviv.

Ethnic Cleansing in Jerusalem

Last month’s war on Gaza was largely precipitated by an ethnic cleansing campaign occurring in East Jerusalem, illegally occupied by Israel. The threatened evictions of dozens of families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood sparked protests among the Palestinians.

Writer and researcher Yanis Iqbal provides some background;

Beginning from May 2, 2021, Israel has begun its attempts to forcibly evict 26 Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah. These families consist of refugees since the Nakba (the 1947-49 expulsion and forced exile of over two-thirds of the population by Zionist forces) and have been denied their United Nations (UN)-mandated right to return home. They were relocated in the neighborhood when it was under Jordanian control between 1948 and 1967.

Israeli propaganda attempts to present the idea that the homes being seized were once owned by Jews. This is a complete lie – the Jordanian authorities were the ones to finance the construction of the homes. Since the early 1970s, Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah have been battling a series of Jewish settler organizations who filed lawsuits claiming the land belonged to them. Many Palestinians have been kicked out of the neighborhood and replaced by Israeli settlers. The current standoff and protests came about after an Israeli court ruled in favor of Nahalat Shimon International – an organization based in the US – and Ateret Cohanim, another settlement group that seeks to take over the properties.

In its bloody quest to eliminate Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah, the settler state has left no stone unturned. Combat-clad murderers have been sent in to terrorize Palestinian sit-ins with skunk water, tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and shock grenades. Protesters have been physically assaulted, kneeled on, choked, and shot at with live rounds. On May 7, 2021, the Israeli police forced its way into the neighborhood as Palestinians and solidarity activists gathered to break their Ramadan fasting in solidarity with 40 Palestinians, including 10 children.

Far right violence had already been ramping up in Jerusalem. In one illustrative example from late April, a Israeli brownshirt-like group named Lehava led marches with memorable choruses such as “your village will be burnt down,” “may your village burn,” “Arabs get out,” and “death to Arabs.” The demonstrations saw large groups of Jewish youths hurling rocks at Palestinians, including inside their homes and vehicles. Participants were encouraged to arm themselves and get violent. Haaretz reported on a social media group administered by far right Knesset member, Itamar Ben-Gvir, that included somebody enthusiastically promoting plans to burn Palestinians with Molotov cocktails. A video shared on social media showed an Israeli man driving through East Jerusalem firing his gun in the air to frighten the occupied Palestinian residents. The Lehava event was explicitly promoted to “restore Jewish dignity” to Jerusalem. Palestinian counter protests at Damascus Gate in the Old City were responded to by police using similar measures to those deployed against the sit ins described above by Iqbal: 105 people were injured, with 22 hospitalized.

See the rest here

About Connor Freeman

Connor Freeman is a writer at the Libertarian Institute, primarily covering foreign policy. He has been featured in media outlets such as Antiwar.com and Counterpunch, as well as the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. He has also been a guest on Conflicts of Interest. You can follow him on Twitter @FreemansMind96

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Erie Times E-Edition Article-Biden lands in Geneva for meeting with Putin

Posted by M. C. on June 16, 2021

This is the kind of crap I get with the USA Today owned Erie Times-News

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=2f0f7dc77_1345ddc

“In addition to the statement out of the U.S.-EU summit, NATO leaders on Monday took a swipe at Russia, deploring its military activities near the borders of NATO countries.”

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The Real Tax Scandal | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on June 10, 2021

Yet the real scandal here is not the IRS leak, which was no doubt internal and designed to gin up public support for Biden’s proposed tax increases while advancing a progressive inequality narrative.

No, the real scandal is this: federal income taxes are almost entirely about control and not revenue. The byzantine rules and selective enforcement are perfectly designed to keep ordinary people with limited means in mortal fear of the IRS. A tax audit, like cancer, can come out of nowhere and ruin your life.

https://mises.org/power-market/real-tax-scandal

Jeff Deist

The self-styled investigative journalism outlet ProPublica recently published private IRS tax information—presumably embarrassing private tax information—for a host of ultrawealthy and famous Americans. I say “self-styled” because the organization claims a pretty lofty and self-important mission to use the “moral force” of journalism on behalf of the public interest against abuses of power. But does this apply to state power, such as when a federal agency employee illegally leaks sensitive material to media? And why is it presumed to be in the public’s interest to have rich billionaires pay more in taxes? Maybe we’d rather have them investing in their companies, or at least buying megayachts and Gulfstream jets, rather than sending more resources to the black hole of DC? Why is the public interest always defined as “things progressives like”?

ProPublica has obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years. The data provides an unprecedented look inside the financial lives of America’s titans, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg. It shows not just their income and taxes, but also their investments, stock trades, gambling winnings and even the results of audits.

And as an aside, it’s worthwhile to recall the tremendous whopper of a lie President Franklin Delano Roosevelt told back in 1935—namely that no one other than the program’s administrators would ever know your private Social Security number. Today, of course, Social Security numbers are the absolute linchpin of one’s entire financial identity, and known by everyone from the IRS to your local credit union.

Yet the real scandal here is not the IRS leak, which was no doubt internal and designed to gin up public support for Biden’s proposed tax increases while advancing a progressive inequality narrative. Political capture of federal agencies is nothing new or shocking; that’s what presidents do (or have done to them). Nor is it particularly scandalous that the wealthiest people sometime pay little in federal income tax, at least relative to their income. After all, elites by definition tend to wield power rather than fear it, especially when it comes to state power. And they have lobbyists and accountants to make sure taxes remain something the little people pay.

No, the real scandal is this: federal income taxes are almost entirely about control and not revenue. The byzantine rules and selective enforcement are perfectly designed to keep ordinary people with limited means in mortal fear of the IRS. A tax audit, like cancer, can come out of nowhere and ruin your life. In some cases it can land you in jail. Tax enforcement is the ultimate check on the public’s behavior; after all, who takes up the cause of a tax cheat? For middle-class Americans the IRS is an existential threat, but for Jeff Bezos it is another business expense to be minimized.

And as for revenue, consider that Uncle Sam borrowed nearly half of the dollars spent by Congress in fiscal 2020. With covid shutdowns, federal income taxes amounted to about $3.42 trillion, while spending was $6.55 trillion. If the federal government can finance 50 percent of its annual spending through deficits, why not 80 percent or 100 percent? Why do we need the IRS terror regime at all?

Again, this is about control. Progressives will never give up the income tax for this very reason. Proponents of modern monetary theory, for example, are almost uniformly left progressive in political outlook. These are the people cheering Biden’s >$1 trillion infrastructure spending bill because of their fervent belief that deficits don’t matter.

MMT rests on two central assertions.1 First, sovereign governments with their own currencies can print as much money as needed to fund operations without fear of insolvency or bankruptcy—unless a purely political decision is made to go broke. Government deficits per se do not matter, because the only real constraint in any economy is the amount of real resources available rather than the amount of money. In fact, MMT views government debt as private financial wealth—money inserted into the economy by the central state but not taxed back. 

Second, sovereign governments with their own currencies can require tax payments to be made in that currency. Therefore any overheating in the economy in the form of inflation resulting from too much money can be fixed by pulling some money back to the Treasury via tax increases. This is the ostensible reason MMTers are not quite ready to give up on taxes altogether.

Yet I’ve never heard an MMTer express support for even a one-year moratorium on taxes to stimulate a bad economy (after a shock such as a worldwide covid pandemic). Why is this? If inflation really is so low, with the economy struggling in postcovid recovery mode, why pull any money back into federal coffers? Just damn the torpedoes! The bigger the deficit, the more “private wealth” we all have! Perhaps there is a political element to all the MMT jargon after all, one which relies on taxes both for control over people and to advance an advantageous but hollow trope about taxing the rich.

Federal income taxes have always been a tool for compliance. The IRS has always been a tool for presidents to go after rivals—or for rivals to go after presidents. Why would we expect otherwise?

  • 1. See Dr. Robert P. Murphy’s definitive critique of MMT and Professor Stephanie Kelton’s book here.

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Biden Proposes Globally-Imposed Corporate Tax Rates | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on June 3, 2021

Americans should be as hostile to a global minimum corporate tax as they would to a global minimum price for computer chips, lumber or steel. Higher corporate taxes mean businesses have less money to invest in new facilities, develop products, hire workers, pay dividends and command higher stock prices.

Janet Yellen made her aim all too clear: “It is important to work with other countries to end the pressures of tax competition,” Eliminate tax LOWERING competition.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/biden-proposes-globally-imposed-corporate-tax-rates/

by Brian P McGlinchey

In a move that would primarily benefit the world’s largest economies and most bloated governments, the Biden administration has proposed that all the world’s countries agree to impose corporate taxes at a rate no lower than 15%. Biden also proposes punishing countries that don’t adopt the minimum, by imposing heavier taxes on U.S. subsidiaries of companies headquartered in those countries.

In describing the initiative, Treasury secretary Janet Yellen made her aim all too clear: “It is important to work with other countries to end the pressures of tax competition,” she said in a speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Though we’re conditioned to view them as something else, taxes are prices—albeit ones associated with no small amount of coercion. In that light, Yellen’s public opposition to tax competition should be just as jarring as if a corporate CFO said “it’s important to work with other companies to end the pressures of price competition.”

Aside from being an act of imperious, central-planning arrogance, the U.S.-led drive to fix the minimum corporate price of government is just the latest example of government pursuing an activity that’s illegal for private actors.

Plan Aims to Make Biden Tax Hike More Palatable

It’s no coincidence that Biden’s proposal comes alongside his drive to hike the U.S. corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. While that would still leave it below the 35% level where it stood before a GOP-led 2017 cut, it would weaken America’s position in international competition for corporate investment.

According to the Tax Foundation, Biden’s corporate tax increase would lift the U.S. federal-state combined rate to 32%, which would be the highest among the 38-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

To the extent it encourages companies to shift investments and operations to more tax-friendly locales, the tax hike would be at least partially self-defeating. Thus comes the Biden administration’s campaign for a 15% global minimum.

Notably, that rate wasn’t the administration’s first choice—it originally floated a 21% floor. The administration likely sees a 15% pact as a precedent-setting foundation for eventually pushing a higher minimum.

Begging credulity, Biden told reporters he wasn’t concerned that higher taxes could prompt U.S. companies to relocate. “There’s no evidence of that…that’s bizarre,” he said.

Though proposed as a global minimum, the initial focus is on persuading the G7 countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and United States. Reuters has reported that G7 finance ministers will soon announce their commitment to the idea.

Plan Would Benefit Largest Governments at Expense of the Smallest

The sledding will get a lot tougher after moving beyond that group of the world’s wealthiest economic heavyweights to the G20, OECD and beyond.

Indeed, OECD member Ireland, which boasts a 12.5% corporate tax rate, has already declared its opposition to the scheme—a scheme that threatens to widen the divide between larger and smaller economies.

Smaller countries often use lower tax rates to heighten their appeal as they compete with larger, more advanced economies: The 24 largest European economies average a 20.8% corporate tax rate, compared to 14.5% for the 24 smallest.

Given Ireland’s 12.5% rate has spurred high-tech investment and prosperity in the country, it’s easy to see why it would promptly reject an invitation to surrender it for the benefit of the United States and other economic giants.

“We do have really significant reservations regarding a global minimum effective tax rate status at such a level that it means only certain countries, and certain size economies can benefit,” said Ireland finance minister Paschal Donohoe.

In a separate statement, the Irish government said could support a 12.5% minimum, “which is fair and within the ambit of healthy tax competition.”

Alas, to big-government proponents of a minimum corporate tax, “healthy tax competition” is an oxymoron: Yellen has decried a downtrend in corporate tax rates as a “30-year race to the bottom” that must be stopped.

Corporate Taxes Affect Everyone

Americans should be as hostile to a global minimum corporate tax as they would to a global minimum price for computer chips, lumber or steel. Higher corporate taxes mean businesses have less money to invest in new facilities, develop products, hire workers, pay dividends and command higher stock prices.

The ripple effect is potent. According to a study by the Organization for International Cooperation and Development, “corporate taxes are found to be most harmful for growth, followed by personal income taxes, and then consumption taxes.”

Some will scoff at the idea that higher stock prices and dividends are good for the public. However, via 401(k) plans, IRAs, mutual funds and direct stock investments, 55% of Americans are corporate shareholders of one type or another.

Though routinely vilified by demagoguing politicians, businesses are part of an economic ecosystem in which all of us live. When government increases the tax burden of either businesses or individuals, both groups are affected.

Feeding Washington’s Spending Addiction

Having said all that, let’s not let the latest tax debate divert our attention from an essential fact: The U.S. government doesn’t have a revenue problem—it has a spending problem. And it’s poised to grow even worse.

Biden has requested a staggering $6 trillion federal budget for the coming fiscal year—that’s nearly a third higher than pre-pandemic levels. As a percentage of GDP, the president’s plan for the coming decade would see sustained spending at levels unseen since World War II.

When that war ended, spending subsided. Today, as the government-exacerbated Covid-19 crisis winds down, Biden and congressional allies are proposing to spend even more, content to watch trillion dollar deficits become routine, and the federal debt mushroom even after hiking rates on individuals and businesses.

That’s the real race to the bottom, Ms. Yellen.

This article was originally featured at Stark Realities

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Biden’s Jobs Plan: More Government Jobs Won’t Fix the Economy | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on May 25, 2021

However, the discussion generally overlooks a further factor. Many of the jobs created directly or indirectly by government policies impose costs on society rather than producing benefits. Such job creation worsens rather than improves Americans’ well-being.

The most obvious illustrations come from the vast (and getting vaster) crazy-quilt of federal executive agencies, mandates, regulations, czars, etc. Peaceful wealth creation arises from voluntary agreements among people, but the primary activity of the regulatory state is often to interfere with mutually productive jobs, undermining social coordination and destroying wealth. Imposing added constraints on voluntary productive arrangements does create some jobs, but that acts as a massive regulatory tax on jobs that benefit other people.

https://mises.org/wire/bidens-jobs-plan-more-government-jobs-wont-fix-economy

Gary Galles

It seems that every time something adverse happens in the labor market, it restarts the partisan battle between those currently in and out of power as to who is a better steward of the economy.

That was illustrated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s (BLS) release of the job numbers for April, which made headlines when job growth, which was expected to surge, came in “unexpectedly” low. The 266,000 jobs created were only a quarter of some forecasts, which topped 1 million. Further, March job creation was also revised down by 146,000. And unemployment ticked up for the first time since the lockdown, despite a reportedly massive shortage of workers, as illustrated by the 7.4 million unfilled job openings reported for February.

The Biden administration, put on its heels by the poor results and the finger-pointing at its policies that followed (particularly the $300 weekly unemployment bonus), insisted the economy is improving, and tried to claim credit for it (even though the economy was recovering far faster than anticipated before he took office) but that the magnitude of the problems faced means that still more government aid is necessary, almost as if they are trying to introduce quadrillion as a measure in common use when talking about deficits and debt, rather than trillion.

This battle, like many before, include skirmishes about a multitude of measurement issues—whether employment or unemployment measures are more accurate, which unemployment measure is the best, reasons for changes in labor force participation, part-time versus full-time jobs, discouraged workers, how many officially unemployed workers are really gaming the system, seasonal adjustments, and more. Other discussions include whether government programs create jobs or just move them, given that the resources must come from elsewhere, whether that transfer produces increased or decreased value, etc.

However, the discussion generally overlooks a further factor. Many of the jobs created directly or indirectly by government policies impose costs on society rather than producing benefits. Such job creation worsens rather than improves Americans’ well-being.

The most obvious illustrations come from the vast (and getting vaster) crazy-quilt of federal executive agencies, mandates, regulations, czars, etc. Peaceful wealth creation arises from voluntary agreements among people, but the primary activity of the regulatory state is often to interfere with mutually productive jobs, undermining social coordination and destroying wealth. Imposing added constraints on voluntary productive arrangements does create some jobs, but that acts as a massive regulatory tax on jobs that benefit other people.

Professors Susan Dudley and Melinda Warren have studied federal regulatory agencies that explicitly restrict private sector transactions. They found 277,000 such regulators in 2015 (substantially larger than General Motors’ worldwide workforce) and an eighteenfold increase in those agencies’ inflation-adjusted budgets since 1960, to over $57 billion (in 2009 dollars).

Government’s forcible interventions also create private sector jobs to comply with its expanding range of dictation. For example, many human resources and healthcare industry jobs were created to comply with Obamacare. But for ill-advised programs and restrictions, those jobs entail costs rather than benefits for society.

Government’s increasing redistributive power over every wallet also means more lobbyists are hired to help special interests benefit at others’ expense. That, in turn, pushes others to hire more lobbyists to minimize the extent of robbery they will be forced to bear. The expanded fight to control federal government theft creates influence industry jobs, which have dramatically stimulated the economy in Washington, DC, but which produces a negative-sum game that destroys wealth for people everywhere else.

Similarly, when laws or rules of questionable constitutionality or legality are promulgated, it increases the number of lawyers and legal resources government employs. It also increases the number employed by those who would be abused. Such opposition can be one of the most valuable investments for Americans in stopping such inroads on people’s rights, but even fighting them to a standstill leaves Americans no better off than if those overstepping initiatives had not been advanced in the first place.

While the battle over President Biden’s job creation underachievement continues, we should remember that in one area, he clearly aims to overachieve—creating jobs in government (as well as because of government) that harm Americans’ ability to mutually benefit one another. Such job creation may boost the employment numbers Biden desires, but they block rather than boost our well-being. Author:

Gary Galles

Gary M. Galles is a Professor of Economics at Pepperdine University and an adjunct scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. His research focuses on public finance, public choice, economic education, organization of firms, antitrust, urban economics, liberty, and the problems that undermine effective public policy. In addition to his most recent book, Pathways to Policy Failures (2020), his books include Lines of Liberty (2016), Faulty Premises, Faulty Policies (2014), and Apostle of Peace (2013).

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Biden Declares ‘National Emergency’ – Blindsides Russia With Sanctions, Economic Warfare

Posted by M. C. on April 15, 2021

“National Security” Like border control?

This is bizarre.

Just two days after speaking with Russian President Putin by phone, and suggesting a summit, President Biden has hit Russia with another round of sanctions – including an attack on the Russian currency. The reasons given for this “national emergency” include the seven year old return of Crimea to Russian control and the still-unproven allegations of Russian election meddling, hacking, and placing bounties on US soldiers’ heads in Afghanistan.

Be seeing you

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