MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Crisis’

Default Hysteria: No Time To Panic; Time To Plan

Posted by M. C. on October 1, 2021

The usual “debt ceiling” theatrics have reappeared. We’re again greeted with the propaganda that if the most indebted government in the history of th

e world doesn’t continue to go deeper into debt, the world would grind to a halt. But economic “crisis,” which is really a painful return to economic reality, is inevitable. The real “crisis” is continuing to dig a deeper hole. So it’s certainly time to think about getting one’s own person financial house in order.

The default is already happening via devaluation of money.

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Doug Casey on the Next “Crisis” the Global Elite Have Planned

Posted by M. C. on September 17, 2021

As I’ve said before, this war will have little to do with obsolescent junk like Abrams tanks, F-35s, and Ford-class carriers. Those toys serve little purpose beyond bankrupting the US while enriching the Deep State. This will be primarily a cyber and biological war. I’m just surprised that more people aren’t watching and referring to the movie V for Vendetta, which also revolves around a virus called the St. Mary’s virus. The world desperately needs a real V.

https://internationalman.com/articles/doug-casey-on-the-next-crisis-the-global-elite-have-planned/

by Doug Casey

International Man: Every year, the international ruling class—the most influential world leaders, CEOs of big corporations, top academics, and even celebrities—come together at Davos. They discuss topics that interest them and prescribe their preferred policies.

What’s your take on the Davos crowd and what they are doing?

Doug Casey: The Davos crowd has become the most visible element of the ruling class. Although, they overlap with lots of other groups who are pushing the same agenda—Bilderberg, CFR, and Bohemian Grove among them.

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article after I attended the Concordia, which is very similar, with exactly the same people. I don’t plan on going back. It was disturbing and depressing listening to soulless bigshots natter about the best way to rule the plebs.

These people are all part of what you might call the “World Deep State.” They all know each other. They go to the same conferences, and more often than not, they’ve attended the same universities, belong to the same social clubs, and have kids in the same schools.

But most importantly, they share the same worldview. They live in their own little silo, where the rest of 7.9 billion people in the world are outsiders. So it’s only natural that people in such a relatively close-knit—albeit informal—group conspire.

Adam Smith famously observed that whenever two men from the same occupation get together, they always conspire against the interests of the public. It’s a perfectly normal and natural thing.

But these people aren’t just merchants contriving to make a few extra shekels. These people are the top dogs in all of the world’s governments, NGOs, corporations, universities, and media organizations. They have contempt for the little people, whom they treat as either useful idiots or useless mouths. They’re interested in power more than anything else.

As they’ve recently shown in this COVID exercise, they pretty much control the world. They’re very dangerous; I despise them.

International Man: In 2019, well before the first case of COVID was reported, the World Economic Forum (WEF), which hosts the annual Davos conferences, held an event to discuss the possibility of a worldwide pandemic.

In fact, they ran a simulation exercise for how the scenario could play out and how governments, large corporations, and the media should handle the situation.

What do you make of this? Was it a coincidence?

Doug Casey: These people are quite bold. They believe—correctly—that 90% of the public will basically eat whatever they’re fed and accept whatever they’re told.

I have no doubt that these people have an informal understanding with each other as to how the world ought to reset to their benefit. It’s not a formal conspiracy, per se, just a natural consequence of what inevitably happens when people of the same class, worldview, and philosophy are in a position of power.

The problem is that worldwide conflagrations over the last century have gotten much more serious each time around. World War 1 was unbelievably nasty. World War 2 was even nastier. We dodged the bullet of a global thermonuclear war with the Soviet Union. But that doesn’t mean that World War 3 isn’t going to occur. It’ll just be different than it would have been 40 or 50 years ago.

So, based on the trend in motion, if World War 1 killed 20 million people and World War 2 killed 60 or 80 million people, anything could happen in whatever turns out to be World War 3. Maybe 500 million or a billion. Think big, like the people who put together the Deagel report.

As I’ve said before, this war will have little to do with obsolescent junk like Abrams tanks, F-35s, and Ford-class carriers. Those toys serve little purpose beyond bankrupting the US while enriching the Deep State. This will be primarily a cyber and biological war.

I’m just surprised that more people aren’t watching and referring to the movie V for Vendetta, which also revolves around a virus called the St. Mary’s virus. The world desperately needs a real V.

See the rest here

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Crisis

Posted by M. C. on August 3, 2021

You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.

Rahm Emanuel

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Interventionism Turns Crisis into Depression | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 29, 2021

The reason that interventionism does not work is that it misallocates more resources in the economy. More importantly, it disturbs, distorts, and destroys the corrective process whereby entrepreneurs, the price system, and the bankruptcy and foreclosure procedures do their jobs in reallocating resources and prices back into a sustainable framework.

https://mises.org/wire/interventionism-turns-crisis-depression

Austrian economists have a well-developed theory that explains the boom, bubble, bust, and recovery. A good introduction to the Austrian theory of the business cycle can be found in Larry Sechrest’s article “Explaining Malinvestment and Overinvestment.” Larry wrote the article to provide a pedagogical device for economics students, but academic economists will probably be able to understand it as well.

Here we examine the case of business cycles where instead of recovery, the economy enters a prolonged economic depression or recession. The types of intervention that cause business cycles are restricted to money and credit. The types of intervention that cause depressions can be of a monetary, fiscal, or regulatory nature. Even moral suasion can contribute to the making of a depression, as was the case with Herbert Hoover.

The most effective depression-producing program would include a variety of interventions. The only necessary requirement is that the interventions help to forestall the correction process and that the interventions collectively undermine the ability of the price system and the system of profit and loss to properly reallocate resources. Austrians find that the cycle is the result of monetary intervention and that depressions emerge as the result of subsequent interventions designed to forestall the corrective processes of the bust.

Among all business cycles, few have degenerated into prolonged depressions or recessions. Most business cycles come and go so quickly that received wisdom recommends that the government do nothing except for minor adjustments to monetary and fiscal policy along with so-called “automatic stabilizers.” The exceptions to this rule include the Great Depression, the stagflation of the 1970s, Japan’s Lost Decade, and possibly the [Great Recession].

What makes the difference between the ordinary business cycle and an extraordinary depression? The one factor that is consistent in all four of the major crises is massive government intervention to address the initial economic crisis. In all four cases, the government responded not in the traditional laissez-faire manner of leaving things alone but instead with policies that attempted to reverse the economic crisis.

In the first three major depressions, governments consistently intervened in the economy and made long-term institutional changes in the economy. In the case of the stagflation of the 1970s, the government met the initial crisis with comprehensive wage and price controls and the closing of the gold window, along with a loose monetary policy, deficit spending, and bailouts. The Japanese bubble-bust was also met with intervention on a massive scale, including bailouts, zero-percent interest rates, public-works spending, and huge budget deficits. Even Paul Krugman was impressed with Japan’s efforts:

Think of it as the W.P.A. on steroids. Over the past decade Japan has used enormous public works projects as a way to create jobs and pump money into the economy. The statistics are awesome. In 1996 Japan’s public works spending, as a share of G.D.P., was more than four times that of the United States. Japan poured as much concrete as we did, though it has a little less than half our population and 4 percent of our land area. One Japanese worker in 10 was employed in the construction industry, far more than in other advanced countries. (Krugman 2001)

Unfortunately it did not work, the stagnation continued, and all that deficit spending has left Japan with a staggering national debt.

The reason that interventionism does not work is that it misallocates more resources in the economy. More importantly, it disturbs, distorts, and destroys the corrective process whereby entrepreneurs, the price system, and the bankruptcy and foreclosure procedures do their jobs in reallocating resources and prices back into a sustainable framework.

In dealing with economic crisis, one prominent weapon in the arsenal of interventionist economic policy is a loose money and credit policy. This policy has the defect of preventing, or at least stalling and distorting, the process of deflation that provides the cleansing and rebalancing effect on the economy where resources can be reallocated to more valuable and sustainable uses. Loose monetary policy also sets up expectations for a more restrictive monetary policy in the future, while its low interest rates discourage savings and future growth. Loose monetary policy in the 1970s (United States), 1990s (Japan), and today (globally) have produced no curative effect; and notice that most economists consider Paul Volcker’s restrictive monetary policy in the early 1980s a success.

Public-works spending, stimulus packages, and deficit spending are also (wrongly) considered important policies to address economic contractions. The idea is that government spending replaces declining private-sector spending in order to maintain the level of GDP.

However, it is easy to recognize that such policies also stifle the reallocation of resources that are called for in any type of correction process. Government spending is determined politically and bureaucratically, so there will inevitably be mismatches in resources in the economy. As government spends it creates relative scarcities in resources like cement and bulldozers and relative abundances in resources like golf carts and electrical engineers.

Such micromisalignments create new roadblocks on the path to economic recovery. In the short-run, such policies produce less than a dollar’s worth of bang for the buck (even if it does increase GDP by a dollar). In the longer term, this approach increases the government debt and tax burdens on the economy.

The evidence from the Great Depression, the stagflation of the 1970s, and the Japanese malaise clearly suggests that the government-spending approach has more of a debilitating than a remedial effect. In the [Great Recession], the stimulus package of $787 billion has failed by a wide margin to meet projections of the Obama administration of containing the unemployment rate at less than 8 percent.7

Bailouts are simply a hidden form of discretionary protectionism and should be the poster child for the ill effects of interventionism. Instead of allowing for entrepreneurial-driven change (restructuring, downsizing, outsourcing, takeovers, mergers, etc.), bankruptcy and foreclosure, and other forms of adjustment to take place, bailouts forestall the adjustment process, engender rent-seeking, and create a moral hazard.

In the absence of bailouts, there are myriad ways in which individuals adjust to economic downturns that are largely “unseen” by politicians and bureaucrats but are nonetheless the basic elements of the corrective process. The presence of bailouts turns the attention of entrepreneurs away from such adjustments and toward the acquisition of bailouts and other rent-seeking and nonproductive activities.

Bailouts also set a precedent and thereby create a moral hazard that destabilizes rather than stabilizes the economy. In the [Great Recession] we [saw] everything from bailouts for banks that are “too big to fail,” to the takeovers of AIG, GM, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, and forbearance laws and policies that prevent foreclosure on homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgages. Many of the same effects caused by protectionist trade policies also apply to bailouts.

There is yet another negative effect from interventionist policies that is important to consider. The combination of interventionist policies, quickly conceived, implemented, and often altered, fosters an environment of “regime uncertainty.” Higgs (1997) described this concept as entrepreneurial uncertainty brought about by uncertainty regarding the future of economic policy, or simply policy that threatens entrepreneurs and investors.

You might imagine the entrepreneur who is trying to digest several policy changes being told that there is a crisis and that policy X will save him, only to learn that policy X has failed and will be replaced by policy Y, which will save the day, only to learn that policy Y has not worked but that policy Z will get the job done.

All of this confusion causes entrepreneurs to suffer from “regime uncertainty,” which in turn reduces investment and the hiring of labor. As the fog clears, entrepreneurs realize that the general economic environment has changed. New entry and profit opportunities for entrepreneurs have been reduced while at the same time economic policy is delaying the exit of firms suffering large economic losses. In other words, the price system is hampered and the economy is no longer competitive. It would be hard to disagree with Ben Powell (2009, p. 20) who characterizes the current political environment as one of “regime worsening.”

[This article is a selection from “Hoover, Bush, and Great Depressions” in the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 86–100 (2010).] Author:

Contact Mark Thornton

Mark Thornton is a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and the book review editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He has authored seven books and is a frequent guest on national radio shows.

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12 Myths Fueling Government Overreach in Times of Crisis | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on April 26, 2021

Politics cannot be put aside. Politics is what politicians and political interest groups do. Partisanship is inevitable as political actors who seek conflicting ends struggle for maximum control of the government.

https://mises.org/wire/12-myths-fueling-government-overreach-times-crisis

Robert Higgs

Congress and the president have adopted many critically important policies in great haste during brief periods of perceived national emergency. During the first “hundred days” of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration in the spring of 1933, for example, the government abandoned the gold standard, enacted a system of wide-ranging controls, taxes, and subsidies in agriculture, and set in motion a plan to cartelize the nation’s manufacturing industries. In 2001, the USA PATRIOT Act was enacted in a rush even though no member of Congress had read it in its entirety. Since September 2008, the government and the Federal Reserve System have implemented a rapid-fire series of bailouts, loans, “stimulus” spending programs and partial or complete takeover of big banks and other large firms, acting at each step in great haste.

Any government policymaking on an important matter entails serious risks, but crisis policymaking stands apart from the more deliberate process in which new legislation is usually enacted or new regulatory measures are usually put into effect. Because formal institutional changes—however hastily they might have been made—have a strong tendency to become entrenched, remaining in effect for many years and sometimes for many decades, crisis policymaking has played an important part in generating long-term growth of government through a ratchet effect in which “temporary” emergency measures have expanded the government’s size, scope, or power.

It therefore behooves us to recognize the typical presumptions that give crisis policymaking its potency.

The twelve propositions given here express some of the ideas that are advanced or assumed again and again in connection with episodes of quick, fear-driven policymaking—events whose long-term consequences are often counterproductive.

1. Nothing like the present situation has ever happened before. If the existing crisis were seen as simply the latest incident in a series of similar crises, policy makers and the public would be more inclined to relax, appreciating that such rough seas have been navigated successfully in the past and will be navigated successfully on this occasion, too. Fears would be relieved. Exaggerated doomsday scenarios would be dismissed as overwrought and implausible. Such relaxation, however, would ill serve the sponsors of extraordinary government measures, regardless of their motives for seeking adoption of these measures. Fear is a great motivator, so the proponents of expanded government action have an incentive to represent the current situation as unprecedented and therefore as uniquely menacing unless the government intervenes forcefully to save the day.

2. Unless the government intervenes, the situation will get worse and worse. Crisis always presents some sort of worsening of something: the economy’s output has fallen; prices have risen greatly; the country has been attacked by foreigners. If such untoward developments were seen as having occurred in a one-off manner, then people might be content to stick with the institutional status quo. If, however, people project the recent changes forward, imagining that adverse events will continue to occur and possibly to gather strength as they continue, then they will object to a “do nothing” response, reasoning that “something must be done” lest the course of events eventuate in an utterly ruinous situation. To speed a huge, complex, “anti-terrorism” bill through Congress in 2001, George W. Bush invoked the specter of another terrorist attack. Barack Obama, Invoking the specter of economic collapse, rushed through Congress early in 2009 the huge Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act before any legislator had digested it. In a February 5, 2009, op-ed in the Washington Post, he wrote, “If nothing is done … our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.”1 At a February 9 press conference, he said “[A] failure to act will only deepen this crisis,” and “could turn a crisis into a catastrophe.”2

3. Today is all-important; we must act immediately.

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Lockdowns: Looks Like an Op, Smells Like an Op, Walks Six Feet Apart Like an Op – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 7, 2020

Read that again: “the synthetic gene is incorporated into the
recipient’s own DNA.” Alteration of the human genetic makeup. Permanent
alteration.

“’The sky’s the limit,’

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/05/jon-rappoport/lockdowns-looks-like-an-op-smells-like-an-op-walks-six-feet-apart-like-an-op/

By

Jon Rappoport’s blog

We don’t need Rahm Emanuel to tell us a crisis shouldn’t go to waste. It’s a strategy that probably got off the ground a hundred thousand years ago. The other half of it is, create the crisis to begin with. Then don’t waste it.

The Bill Gates plan involves a mother of all vaccines for COVID, mandated across the globe, before the lockdowns end. That’s his psychopathic wet dream. Then, coming in behind that, his lackey, the World Health Organization, along with the professional liars at the CDC, will add—“we must mandate EVERY vaccine…”

To pull off a mandated global vaccine for eight billion people takes a manufactured crisis.

Fake virus plus real lockdown is the crisis.

You don’t think that one up overnight. You plan. You drill, and you organize. You put all your ducks in a row. You prepare, in order to become Stalin and Mao.

Then somebody has to break the ice.

In this case, it was the Chinese regime—locking down 50 million people overnight in three cities. Moving quickly to a hundred million.

“If the Chinese did it, we can do it, too. We must.”

Then follow up with a dire prediction. Where will that come from? “Let’s dust off that broken-down hack, Neil Ferguson. He’ll give us what we want. He always does. Tell him to slap together one of his computer models. You know, predictions of lots of deaths up the road. Half a million in the UK, a couple of million in the US. Fauci will salute it like money.”

Then LOCKDOWN.

Drive people back into their homes. Put them out of work. Shut down businesses. Wreck economies.

NOW, hold out the carrot. The vaccine.

Note: A new COVID vaccine could be used to alter the genetic makeup of humans. That’s exactly what the emerging (and as yet unlicensed) DNA technology does. It’s a form of gene therapy, now in clinical trials—and, officially, one of the “competing candidates” for a COVID vaccine.

The New York Times, 3/10/15, “Protection Without a Vaccine.” It describes a frontier of research. Here are key quotes that illustrate the use of synthetic genes to “protect against disease,” while changing the genetic makeup of humans. This is not science fiction:

“By delivering synthetic genes into the muscles of the [experimental] monkeys, the scientists are essentially re-engineering the animals to resist disease.”

“’The sky’s the limit,’ said Michael Farzan, an immunologist at Scripps and lead author of the new study.”

“The first human trial based on this strategy — called immunoprophylaxis by gene transfer, or I.G.T. — is underway, and several new ones are planned.” [That was five years ago.]

“I.G.T. is altogether different from traditional vaccination. It is instead a form of gene therapy. Scientists isolate the genes that produce powerful antibodies against certain diseases and then synthesize artificial versions. The genes are placed into viruses and injected into human tissue, usually muscle.”

Read that again: “the synthetic gene is incorporated into the recipient’s own DNA.” Alteration of the human genetic makeup. Permanent alteration.

The Times article taps Dr. David Baltimore for an opinion:

“Still, Dr. Baltimore says that he envisions that some people might be leery of a vaccination strategy that means altering their own DNA, even if it prevents a potentially fatal disease.”

Yes, some people might be leery. If they have two or three working brain cells.

Even if we (falsely) assume this is an epidemic caused by a virus, the official case numbers—as I’ve described in a recent article—do NOT warrant nearly as much concern as annual official flu numbers.

And, of course, NO lockdowns faintly resembling what we have now have ever been recommended, much less enforced, for flu.

And there is no mandated global flu vaccine.

Therefore, a planet-wide, mandated COVID vaccine, as a get-out-of-jail-card, is absurd.

The freedom to reject the vaccine MUST be protected.

The actual conspiracy theorists—Gates, WHO, CDC—who invented the conspiracy, must also be rejected.

SOURCES:

* https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/10/health/protection-without-a-vaccine.html

* https://blog.nomorefakenews.com/2020/05/05/covid-the-numbers-game-the-fraud-and-the-final-answer/

* https://medcitynews.com/2020/04/gsk-sanofi-huddle-to-develop-covid-19-recombinant-dna-vaccine/

* https://www.technologynetworks.com/biopharma/product-news/phase-1-us-trial-of-covid-19-dna-vaccine-enrollment-complete-334373

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Can This Pandemic Usher in a New Era? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 28, 2020

A $15-an-hour minimum wage imposed on companies receiving funds. Blanket loan forgiveness of $10,000 for students. New tax credits for solar and wind energy. Full funding of Planned Parenthood. Federal dollars for fetal tissue research.

$300 million for PBS, which has been promoting the LBGT agenda to school kids. Mandating “diversity” on corporate boards as a condition of companies receiving funds. Election “reforms” to increase Democratic turnout. Insistence that airlines, to get a bailout, offset carbon emissions from jet engines. $35 million for the Kennedy Center.

When, if ever, will there be a better time to make good on Trump’s campaign pledge to extricate America from the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/03/patrick-j-buchanan/can-this-pandemic-usher-in-a-new-era/

By

To fight the coronavirus at home, France is removing all military forces from Iraq.

When NATO scaled back its war games in Europe because of the pandemic, Russia reciprocated. Moscow announced it would cancel its war games along NATO’s border.

Nations seem to be recognizing and responding to the grim new geostrategic reality of March 2020: The pandemic is the real enemy of us all, and while we fight it, each in his own national corner, we are in this together.

Never allow a serious crisis to go to waste, said Barack Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel during the financial crisis.

Emanuel was echoed this month by House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, who called the coronavirus crisis “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

What Clyburn had in mind is what Democrats advanced as their alternative to the $2.2 trillion emergency bill. It was designed to force President Trump either to swallow it whole or to take responsibility for vetoing a critical transfusion of federal funds to keep the economy alive.

Among the items stuffed in the Democrats’ proposal:

A $15-an-hour minimum wage imposed on companies receiving funds. Blanket loan forgiveness of $10,000 for students. New tax credits for solar and wind energy. Full funding of Planned Parenthood. Federal dollars for fetal tissue research.

$300 million for PBS, which has been promoting the LBGT agenda to school kids. Mandating “diversity” on corporate boards as a condition of companies receiving funds. Election “reforms” to increase Democratic turnout. Insistence that airlines, to get a bailout, offset carbon emissions from jet engines. $35 million for the Kennedy Center.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and congressional Republicans ash-canned almost the leftist wish list.

But Trump should go further, turn the tables, and seize this crisis to do what he was elected to do — impose a new foreign policy.

Isolate America, not from the world, but from the world’s wars.

The New York Times and Washington Post editorialized Thursday for an easing of the economic sanctions we have imposed on Iran.

This would be a humanitarian gesture when Iran is suffering more than any country in the Middle East from the virus. More than that, it would be a statement that America is not at war with the Iranian people.

This unilateral gesture by Trump, asking nothing in return except negotiations, would put the onus for Iran’s isolation squarely with the ayatollah and his regime.

As for Vladimir Putin’s cancellation of war games in response to NATO’s cancellation, Trump could seize upon this as an opening to engage Russia as candidate Trump promised to do.

Does anyone believe Putin wants a war with NATO?

Should he do so, does anyone think Italy and Spain, two of the largest NATO allies, but both suffering greatly in the coronavirus crisis, would invoke Article V and declare war on Russia?

When Hitler was our foe, America created a wartime alliance with Stalin in the common cause of crushing the Axis powers. Liberals and leftists yet defend the Popular Front between the democracies and Stalin. If we could unite with Bolsheviks to defeat Nazis, surely we can join with Iran’s rulers to cope with and crush the coronavirus.

When, if ever, will there be a better time to make good on Trump’s campaign pledge to extricate America from the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan?

Consider also the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Jong Un has been testing rockets again over the Sea of Japan.

Transfixed by the coronavirus crisis, however, the world is paying him no attention. We should make a final offer to Kim Jong Un to pull our U.S. forces from South Korea and lift sanctions for verifiable reductions and restraints on his nuclear arsenal.

We are ready for a deal. But If Pyongyang refuses to talk, we should tell him we are going home and are allowing South Korea and Japan to develop their own nuclear weapons. And let Kim deal with them.

The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest crisis since the Cuban missile confrontation of 1962. After that crisis, John F. Kennedy sought to use the world’s brush with Armageddon to establish a detente with the Soviet Union of the Communist dictator who had put the missiles in Cuba.

Following our Cold War victory, we have not done that. Instead, we plunged into wars that were none of our business to deal with imagined threats and advance utopian causes like establishing Jeffersonian democracy in lands where tribalism and dogmatism are rooted in the very soil.

The coronavirus is the enemy Saddam Hussein never was. And the ayatollahs never had tens of millions of Americans “sheltering in place.”

What the coronavirus crisis tells us is not that we should turn our backs on the world but that, in engaging with the world, we should put our own interests first, as every nation in the world is doing now.

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Politicians Have Used This Crisis to Remind Us They’re Mostly Wannabe Dictators | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on March 28, 2020

https://mises.org/wire/politicians-have-used-crisis-remind-us-theyre-mostly-wannabe-dictators?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=e2d30b9f17-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-e2d30b9f17-228343965

The virus has unleashed petite tyrants to haunt their tiny jurisdictions, using the cover of crisis to arrogate powers belonging to the people.

Witness Robert J. Taylor, mayor of Ostrander, Ohio (population: 643 in the 2010 census), who just declared his village to be in a “state of emergency.” Along with this declaration, the self-righteous mayor instructed constituents to get their news from “trusted sources, which may not include social media in many cases.”

In addition, he admonished them to “Also, please look out for your neighbors and the elderly, in particular.”

Sure, petty nonsense from a petty man. But he also added this, “As warranted, additional measures may be taken until the threat from this virus has subsided.”

So, should our equally petty governor adopt enabling acts and deputize mayors, so to speak, Taylor will gleefully nail decrees on the telephone poles lining either side of main street (really, the only street in his village). And, should those decrees not be given the respect he deems sufficient, he will employ the full force of the apparatus of coercion and compulsion: the state. Measures must always be enforced.

As Hayek showed in his seminal work, Road to Serfdom, “the worst” rise to the top in centrally planned states. However, those trying to move up in a burgeoning centrally planned state can be as evil, given the chance. So, in many ways, the difference between the evil leader on top and those deeper in the nomenklatura is not one of degree, but of opportunity.

I have no idea what drives folks like Taylor—what is truly in their hearts. Nevertheless, the study of human action allows me to assess his actions as means to achieve desired ends. Folks like Taylor use politics as the means to their personal ends. What those ends are, I can only guess, although I do know that he is acting for a reason—a reason, I claim, that does not consider the best interests of his constituents.

Maybe, in an attempt to position himself for the next higher office, he is playing to the media, looking for a guest spot on some local news show—he is already getting local newspaper headlines. Maybe he has aspirations to be county commissioner or governor. Who knows? We do know that he acted, and acted for a reason.

You may object that Taylor really hasn’t instituted some quarantine lockdown or shuttered business, as Ohio governor DeWine has. Taylor is just a shout in the wind. Yet, I believe there is more here. And I fully expect a viral outbreak of similar declarations from other petite officials.

Taylor most certainly read pronouncements from big city mayors. And, if you are in the minors and want to play in the big leagues (should the big leagues ever be allowed to play again), you always need to hit to the fence. Home runs get you noticed, not the odd grounded single. And if each swing further annuls liberty, it’s the old eggs to omelets shrug. Nothing else.

Years ago, I was a petite (possibly petty as well) elected official. I witnessed “the worst” rise to higher office. I always wondered how my fellow school board members would have acted if provided a slightly longer leash. For some, I think, Taylor serves as an example.

Maybe I would have acted the same way with a longer leash, or, better yet, a longer leash and a “crisis” with panicked, loud voices crying for leadership and action.

Yes, Hayek was right, “the worst” rise to the top. However, I believe that there is a codicil as well. Many of “the worst” on their way up are constrained by their current office. Likely, they will not see the top. But that doesn’t mean that, given the opportunity, they would not mimic those who have made it all the way.

The solution, even in a time of “crisis,” is not a haunting state and its officials, petite or otherwise. It is liberty.

 

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Another Crisis in the Middle East – When Will We Ever Learn?

Posted by M. C. on January 9, 2020

https://boydcatheyreviewofbooks.blogspot.com/

by Boyd Cathey

Friends,

Qasem Soleimani is dead, his life snuffed out by missiles shot from American drones which targeted his convoy near Bagdad International Airport. By all accounts this man, in many ways the second most important figure in Iran, was the mastermind of numerous violent actions—we call them “terrorist” acts—throughout the Middle East, and very likely was indirectly (maybe directly) responsible for the deaths of dozens of Americans in the region, at least if we can believe our discredited intelligence agencies (it’s ironic that most of those who rightly indict these agencies for their anti-constitutional attempts to “take out” President Trump, now enthusiastically embrace the assessments of those very same agencies when it comes to Iran).

And now the Iranians have reacted directly by firing ground-to-ground missiles aimed at Iraqi army bases; from reports no Americans, military or civilian, were killed or injured in these attacks. That may or may not indicate a particular strategic calculation on the part of the Iranians. Indeed, if this should be the only major response to Soleimani’s death it may—underline “may”—indicate an implicit desire to lower the level of high stakes hostilities…and a realization that the United States under President Trump is unlike previous American administrations. After all, Soleimani was arguably the most powerful and most significant military leader in Iran; the Iranians, given his death, had to react. As our leaders recognized, that was certain, and the attacks by the Iranians did not come as a surprise.

But now that this is done, multiple questions arise.

Watching “Fox & Friends” this morning there appeared former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and newscaster Brian Kilmeade, all a-twitter—almost in a frenzy—talking about “regime change” in Iran, about a “future strategy” to “take out” the regime in Tehran, about a Middle East strategy of total American involvement which takes hardly any account of the fall of Soviet Russia or the sorry record of repeated American disaster in that region of the world (e.g. Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, etc.).

President Trump ran for office on a platform of strategic disengagement from many areas of the world, the draw-down of American troops, including from the immense and complex quagmire of the Fertile Crescent.

The fall of Communism in late 1991 as a world threat radically altered global politics. Winst0n Churchill once described Soviet Russia as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”; if that was the case with Communist Russia, it certainly describes tenfold the situation in places like Iraq or Syria…

But American interests in this case do not coincide with the interests of either Israel or with the Neocons policy wonks who zealously continue to push what they call “democratic regime change” (at the price of thousands of dead Americans). Since 1991 that has been attempted too many times with horrendous results. It is not in the interest of the United States.

No; we have made our point in Iraq. We need now to find a way to withdraw our troops from that nation whose parliament just asked us to leave (Iraq is, after all, a sovereign nation). Our invasion and toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003, while presented as necessary by the G. H. W. Bush administration was a tragic mistake, based on faulty and contrived intelligence. Yes, he was a cruel dictator, but he was a Sunni Muslim (who favored Iraq’s large Christian population) and a staunch opponent of Iran. What we “achieved” by that invasion was rule by a fanatical Shi’a majority, favorable to Iran…just the reverse that those think-tank ensconced Neocon “experts” and advisers promised us. And with dozens of body bags on their way back to American shores.

Let us hope that America will now finally come to its senses.

Let us pray that President Trump will honor his campaign promises…

Be seeing you

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