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Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Warren’

The Yin and the Yang of It – Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on August 17, 2019

The aim of the national matrimonial hysteria is to make sure that whatever conflict is at issue remains unresolved. The melodrama goes on for its own sake. It’s fun living on the verge of a nervous breakdown. That is exactly why the US political scene is so disordered and distressed. That is why the Democratic Party can’t find any credible male candidates. And that is how come the country happened to elect an imperturbable Golden Golem of Greatness.

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-yin-and-the-yang-of-it/

James Howard Kunstler

The New York Times staffers wanted to change the paper’s longstanding motto, All the News That’s Fit to Print, to something more cutting edge, more of-the-moment, more congenial with the crypto-gnostic social justice impetus to change human nature in order to make the world a better place.

My personal suggestion was All the News That’s Fit to Print for Angry, Hysterical Women and Their Intersectional Allies, since The New York Times is now an advocacy rag, but the staff choice apparently is The Truth is Worth It — or perhaps The Times paid some Madison Avenue logo engineers for that.

And one is prompted to ask: worth what, exactly? If “truth” actually amounts to “lived experience,” as The Times insists, then truth can be whatever you say it is — the bedrock ethos of all tyrannical political movements. To me, The Truth is Worth It sounds suspiciously like The Ends Justify the Means, and anyone following the so-called Resistance the past three years may have noticed that’s exactly how it operates.

For instance, Resistance team captain Elizabeth Warren referred the other day to the 2014 “murder” of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri “by a white policeman.” Of course, Ms. Warren was speaking her “truth.” Now, it happens that the US Department of Justice under Eric Holder (this was the Obama administration) determined that it was not murder, as did an inquiry by the State of Missouri — rather that Mr. Brown was shot after attacking officer Darren Wilson in his police car and attempting to grab his gun.

Did Senator Warren not believe former attorney general Holder? Was there some other authoritative opinion she was referencing? Or was she just making shit up on-the-fly to juice an audience? Could she have had any other purpose than to provoke racial animus? Is that what this country needs? More tension between blacks and whites? More reason for suspicion and hatred? Is that where you want leadership to lead you?

Senator Warren’s remark pretty obviously demonstrates the Resistance’s tenuous relationship with reality. Her rival, Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted out substantially the same thing last Friday. Do they actually believe what they are saying, or is it simply a tactical move because it’s worth it to stir up racial animosity if you want to become president? The media gave both of them a pass on that ploy.

A few weeks ago, podcaster Dave Rubin had “spiritual teacher” Eckhart Tolle on for a chat, and Mr. Tolle made the surprising remark that the current sorrows of the world were due to an excess of yin and not enough yang, meaning, he went on to explain, too much of the female principle in operation and not enough of the male principle. This crack made Dave Rubin blink a few times, especially coming from the most serene celebrity on the planet, a fellow far less excitable than the Dalai Lama, and a demigod to the yoga pants and Chai tea crowd. Too much yin! He said that? Really?

Mr. Tolle is onto something. Just take, for instance, a recent column by The New York Times’s op-ed writer Gail Collins: How to Torture Trump. Could she have put it more plainly? Does she not sound like a woman who has gotten advice from an unscrupulous divorce lawyer (excuse the redundancy)? In fact, the USA is looking like a really bad marriage. The yin of America is stuck in an hysterical rage at the yang. Cis-men whose lived experience includes marriage may be familiar with this stratagem. The prudent men often opt to not engage with the hysteria, which almost invariably amps up the hysteria.

The aim of the national matrimonial hysteria is to make sure that whatever conflict is at issue remains unresolved. The melodrama goes on for its own sake. It’s fun living on the verge of a nervous breakdown. That is exactly why the US political scene is so disordered and distressed. That is why the Democratic Party can’t find any credible male candidates. And that is how come the country happened to elect an imperturbable Golden Golem of Greatness.

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Former lobbyist Esper sworn in as Pentagon chief

Posted by M. C. on July 24, 2019

Just another day in the swamp.

At least someone was bothered enough to bring the subject up.

Don’t worry, it is already forgotten.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/u-senate-confirms-former-lobbyist-172626888.html

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Army Secretary Mark Esper was sworn in as U.S. secretary of defence on Tuesday, hours after being confirmed by the Senate in a strong bipartisan vote that ended the longest period by far the Pentagon had been without a permanent top official.

Esper was sworn in at the White House by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in a ceremony hosted by President Donald Trump and attended by a number of Republican lawmakers. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on a vote of 90-8 several hours earlier.

“That’s a vote that we’re not accustomed to, Mark. I have to say that, so congratulations,” Trump told Esper, a former professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.

Esper, 55, a former soldier and lobbyist for weapons maker Raytheon Co <RTN.N>, received strong bipartisan support despite sharp questioning during his confirmation hearing by Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren about his ties to Raytheon and his refusal to extend an ethics commitment he signed in 2017 to avoid decisions involving the company.

Warren, a 2020 presidential hopeful, was the only member of the Senate Armed Services Committee to voice opposition to Esper’s confirmation during the hearing.

Raytheon is the third-largest U.S. defence contractor…

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As Democrats Push a “Wealth Tax,” Here’s Why Other Countries Got Rid Of It | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on June 27, 2019

https://mises.org/power-market/democrats-push-wealth-tax-heres-why-other-countries-got-rid-it

Daniel J. Mitchell

…Another guilt-ridden rich guy wrote for the New York Times that he wants the government to have more of his money.

My parents watched me build two Fortune 500 companies and become one of the wealthiest people in the country. …It’s time to start talking seriously about a wealth tax. …Don’t get me wrong: I am not advocating an end to the capitalist system that’s yielded some of the greatest gains in prosperity and innovation in human history. I simply believe it’s time for those of us with great wealth to commit to reducing income inequality, starting with the demand to be taxed at a higher rate than everyone else. …let’s end this tired argument that we must delay fixing structural inequities until our government is running as efficiently as the most profitable companies. …we can’t waste any more time tinkering around the edges. …A wealth tax can start to address the economic inequality eroding the soul of our country’s strength. I can afford to pay more, and I know others can too.

When reading this kind of nonsense, my initial instinct is to tell this kind of person to go ahead and write a big check to the IRS (or, better yet, send the money to me as a personal form of redistribution to the less fortunate). After all, if he really thinks he shouldn’t have so much wealth, he should put his money where his mouth is.

But rich leftists like Elizabeth Warren don’t do this, and I’m guessing the author of the NYT column won’t, either. At least if the actions of other rich leftists are any guide.

But I don’t want to focus on hypocrisy.

Today’s column is about the destructive economics of wealth taxation.

report from the Mercatus Center makes a very important point about how a wealth tax is really a tax on the creation of new wealth.

Wealth taxes have been historically plagued by “ultra-millionaire” mobility. …The Ultra-Millionaire Tax, therefore, contains “strong anti-evasion measures” like a 40 percent exit tax on any targeted household that attempts to emigrate, minimum audit rates, and increased funding for IRS enforcement. …Sen. Warren’s wealth tax would target the…households that met the threshold—around 75,000—would be required to value all of their assets, which would then be subject to a two or three percent tax every year. Sen. Warren’s team estimates that all of this would bring $2.75 trillion to the federal treasury over ten years… a wealth tax would almost certainly be anti-growth. …A wealth tax might not cause economic indicators to tumble immediately, but the American economy would eventually become less dynamic and competitive… If a household’s wealth grows at a normal rate—say, five percent—then the three percent annual tax on wealth would amount to a 60 percent tax on net wealth added.

Alan Viard of the American Enterprise Institute makes the same point in a columnfor the Hill.

Wealth taxes operate differently from income taxes because the same stock of money is taxed repeatedly year after year. …Under a 2 percent wealth tax, an investor pays taxes each year equal to 2 percent of his or her net worth, but in the end pays taxes each decade equal to a full 20 percent of his or her net worth. …Consider a taxpayer who holds a long term bond with a fixed interest rate of 3 percent each year. Because a 2 percent wealth tax captures 67 percent of the interest income of the bondholder makes each year, it is essentially identical to a 67 percent income tax. The proposed tax raises the same revenue and has the same economic effects, whether it is called a 2 percent wealth tax or a 67 percent income tax. …The 3 percent wealth tax that Warren has proposed for billionaires is still higher, equivalent to a 100 percent income tax rate in this example. The total tax burden is even greater because the wealth tax would be imposed on top of the 37 percent income tax rate. …Although the wealth tax would be less burdensome in years with high returns, it would be more burdensome in years with low or negative returns. …high rates make the tax a drain on the pool of American savings. That effect is troubling because savings finance the business investment that in turn drives future growth of the economy and living standards of workers.

Alan is absolutely correct (I made the same point back in 2012).

Taxing wealth is the same as taxing saving and investment (actually, it’s the same as triple- or quadruple-taxing saving and investment). And that’s bad for competitiveness, growth, and wages.

And the implicit marginal tax rate on saving and investment can be extremely punitive. Between 67 percent and 100 percent in Alan’s examples. And that’s in addition to regular income tax rates.

You don’t have to be a wild-eyed supply-side economist to recognize that this is crazy.

Which is one of the reasons why other nations have been repealing this class-warfare levy.

Here’s a chart from the Tax Foundation showing the number of developed nations with wealth taxes from1965-present.

Jun-25-19-Tax-Foundation-Chart.jpg

 

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Sanders Wonders if Warren Is Surging in Polls Because She Is a Woman

Posted by M. C. on June 21, 2019

Blowback!

It must be shocking when policies meant to be burdened by the unwashed masses affect the people that create those policies.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/06/20/sanders-wonders-warren-surging-polls-she-woman/

by HANNAH BLEAU

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is unsure what to make of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) recent surge in the polls and told CNN on Wednesday that it could have something to do with her status as a woman.

Sanders tried to make sense of Warren’s recent surge during a Wednesday appearance on CNN. Chris Cuomo asked him if people view Warren as a “more electable version” of himself.

Instead of answering the question, Sanders brought up Warren’s status as a woman, subtly implying people may be supporting her simply because of that…

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Elizabeth Warren’s Antitrust Crusade – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 19, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/06/dom-armentano/elizabeth-warrens-antitrust-crusade/

By

Elizabeth Warren has made antitrust a major public policy issue in her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. She has argued that several high-tech companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook are just too big and that they should be broken up by the Justice Department in a major antitrust initiative.

Let’s be clear. Using antitrust regulation to break up large companies is an economic and civil liberties nightmare. Those who advocate such policies always fall victim to what Friedrich Hayek termed the “fatal conceit; that is, the assumption that regulators (and the courts) somehow know better than market participants how goods and services should be produced and sold…

Elizabeth Warren has maintained that Amazon, Facebook, and Google are just too big; but too big for whom? She must know that simply being “too big” is not a violation of antitrust law. Indeed, the traditional mission of antitrust is to protect consumers from the high prices and anti-competitive practices established through “conspiracy” or through the exercise of “monopoly power” in some relevant market. Yet Facebook, Amazon and Google do not charge high prices; indeed, they do not charge ANY explicit price at all but secure the bulk of their revenue through advertising. And even if some of their economic or privacy practices are determined to be questionable at some point, that alone would hardly justify any legal divestiture.

The fact remains that all of these companies are successful because consumers freely and repeatedly use their services. They all compete in legally open markets where other firms are free to raise capital and offer alternatives. Disgruntled consumers that choose not to use the free services of Amazon or Google can easily mouse click to other search engines (Bing in the case of Google) and several other online retailers in the case of Amazon. And, of course, no one is forced to participate in the Facebook universe at all (your author does not) and opting out (if you are in) is always possible. So from a strict price and choice perspective, it would be difficult to make a convincing argument that divestiture is justified or would produce the results intended…

Antitrust has a very checkered past and those who advocate its use would do well to study its history more closely. After all, there is almost no economic problem, real or imagined, that cannot be made worse by inappropriate government regulation. Antitrust is no exception.

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Socialist Promises – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 22, 2019

Socialism promises a utopia that sounds good, but those promises are never realized. It most often results in massive human suffering. Capitalism fails miserably when compared with a heaven or utopia promised by socialism. But any earthly system is going to come up short in such a comparison.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/05/walter-e-williams/socialist-promises/

By

Presidential contenders are in a battle to out give one another. Senator Elizabeth Warren proposes a whopping $50,000 per student college loan forgiveness. Senator Bernie Sanders proposes free health care for all Americans plus illegal aliens. Most Democratic presidential candidates promise free stuff that includes free college, universal income, “Medicare for All” and debt forgiveness.

Their socialist predecessors made promises too. “Freedom and Bread” was the slogan used by Adolf Hitler during the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi) campaign against president Paul von Hindenburg. Hitler even promised, “In the Third Reich every German girl will find a husband.” Stalin promised a great socialist-Marxist society that included better food and better worker conditions. China’s Mao Zedong promised democratic constitutionalism and the dream that “farmers have land to till.” These, and other promises, gave Mao the broad political support he needed to win leadership of the entire country in 1949…

Capitalism, or what some call free markets, is relatively new in human history. Prior to capitalism, the way individuals amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. With the rise of capitalism, it became possible to amass great wealth by serving and pleasing your fellow man. Capitalists seek to discover what people want and produce and market it as efficiently as possible as a means to profit. A historical example of this process would be John D. Rockefeller, whose successful marketing drove kerosene prices down from 58 cents a gallon in 1865 to 7 cents in 1900. Henry Ford became rich by producing cars for the common man. Both Ford’s and Rockefeller’s personal benefits pale in comparison to the benefits received by the common man who had cheaper kerosene and cheaper and more convenient transportation. There are literally thousands of examples of how mankind’s life ha been made better by those in the pursuit of profits. Here’s my question to you: Are the people who, by their actions, created unprecedented convenience, longer life expectancy and a more pleasant life for the ordinary person — and became wealthy in the process — deserving of all the scorn and ridicule heaped upon them by intellectuals and political hustlers today?..

By the way, I’m not making an outright condemnation of socialism. I run my household on the Marxist principle, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” That system works when you can remember the names of all involved.

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Doug Casey: The Democratic Party Is a “Freak Show” – Casey Research

Posted by M. C. on May 18, 2019

No, to come up with ideas like hers means that you’re purposefully trying to create a disaster; that’s the definition of an evil person.

You only have to look at John Bolton to know progressives don’t have a on lock on freaks.

https://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/doug-casey-the-democratic-party-is-a-freak-show/

Justin’s note: Elizabeth Warren could cost America trillions of dollars.

Warren is, of course, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts. She’s also running for president.

And like many fellow Democrats, she’s full of wacky ideas. Most recently, she made waves by saying she wants to forgive more than $1 trillion worth of student loans if she becomes president. She also wants to issue reparations to African Americans, which could also cost trillions.

These sorts of ideas used to be considered extreme. A candidate would get laughed out of the race for suggesting them. But those days are over.

A recent poll found that just 27% of Americans oppose Warren’s debt forgiveness plan. As for reparations? Well, fellow Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris both support the idea.

Of course, not everyone’s a fan of these ideas. Doug Casey is one of those people. Below, Doug tells me why these ideas are not only ridiculous but destructive. He also tells me why he thinks Warren is part of a much bigger problem.


Justin: Doug, what do you make of Elizabeth Warren’s plan to forgive student loans? Surely, student loans are a major problem.

But I’m not sure this is the best solution. What do you think?

Doug: Well, it makes perverse sense that she’d suggest something like this. After all, a new Democratic presidential candidate enters the race every day now. I think we’re up to 22 candidates now. But who’s counting?

They seem to be competing with each other in an actual freak show. The Evil Party is trotting out its most bizarre nomenklatura, each trying to outdo the other in being socialist, black, queer, transgender friendly, or a professional female. By which I mean a female who parades as a female for a living. They’re vying over who has the most outlandish, rabid and nonsensical ideas about how they’re going to transform the very nature of what’s left of the United States.

Meanwhile, the Stupid Party, the right wing of the Demopublicans, populated by neocons, has-beens, and assorted non-entities, seems mainly interested in hyping the stock market with phony money, and looking for a major war somewhere in the world.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) kind of set the tone for all this. It amazes me that a 29-year-old Puerto Rican bartender comes from out of nowhere, apparently as a result of an actual casting call, and now everybody in the country takes her ideas seriously.

Perhaps the most stupid of her ideas is Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). This basically amounts to unlimited printing of dollars.

All these other candidates have to call her bet, raise it, and wait for the next player to reraise. They all have some signature goofball idea at this point… Read the rest of this entry »

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The Secret Campaign for 2020: Where the Democratic Candidates Stand on Foreign Policy – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2019

https://original.antiwar.com/ted_rall/2019/05/13/the-secret-campaign-for-2020-where-the-democratic-candidates-stand-on-foreign-policy/

According to the latest Pew Research poll, the five most important issues for Democrats are health care, education, Medicare, poverty and the environment.

So it’s not surprising that the major Democratic presidential contenders’ campaigns are focusing on economic and other America-centric issues. Nor is it shocking that the news media, never more anemic or less willing to question the candidates, is ignoring their stances on foreign policy…

Still, voters deserve to know the would-be presidents’ positions on issues that extend beyond U.S. borders. Here’s what I found:

The Democrats on Our Crazy Defense Spending

The military sucks up 54% of discretionary federal spending. Pentagon bloat has a huge effect on domestic priorities; the nearly $1 trillion a year that goes to exploiting, oppressing, torturing, maiming and murdering foreigners could go to building schools, curing diseases, funding college scholarships, poetry slams, whatever. Anything, even tax cuts for the rich, would be better than bombs. But as then-presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said in 2015: “The military is not a social experiment. The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things.” If you’re like me, you want as little killing and breaking as possible.

Unfortunately, no major Democratic presidential candidate favors substantial cuts to Pentagon appropriations. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Left’s Latest Demand – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 26, 2019

One need not be a cynic to suspect Warren’s motivation. Her claim to be an American Indian angered Native Americans, and she would like to mollify them, and ingratiate herself with African-Americans, who constitute more than 60 percent of all Democratic voters in the crucial South Carolina Primary.

By pushing for compensatory reparations, Warren and Harris may be helping themselves, but they are further splitting their party along the lines of ethnicity and race and elevating an issue certain to divide their country more than it already is.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/02/patrick-j-buchanan/the-lefts-latest-demand/

By

Having embraced “Medicare-for-all,” free college tuition and a Green New Deal that would mandate an early end of all oil, gas and coal-fired power plants, the Democratic Party’s lurch to the left rolls on.

Presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren both called last week for race-based reparations for slavery.

“Centuries of slavery, Jim Crow, legal discrimination and segregation, and discrimination that exist today have led to a systemic wealth gap between black and white Americans,” Harris told The New York Times. “I’m serious about taking an approach that would change policies and structures and make real investments in black communities.”

Echoed Sen. Warren: “We must confront the dark history of slavery and government-sanctioned discrimination in this country.” This history has crippled “the ability of black families to build wealth in America for generations.”…

Are the Democrats going to say this in their national platform in 2020? And how much will be the rest of America be forced to pay, and for how long? Read the rest of this entry »

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The Problem with Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on February 12, 2019

But the reason for this is not that government isn’t doing enough so far. It is instead that the government is doing too much

https://mises.org/wire/problem-elizabeth-warrens-wealth-tax

A wealth tax is not a new idea, though it certainly has come out of fashion recently – in 1992 twelve OECD countries had one, now there are only four.

One of the central issues of a wealth tax is that it is difficult to actually implement and enforce. As Nicole Kaeding and Kyle Pomerleau from the Tax Foundation write, “the uber wealthy tend to have very hard-to-value assets,” such as ownership in real estate holdings, trusts, and most importantly, businesses.

Calculating the overall value of the wealth of a household would cost an immense amount of time and effort. Jeffrey Levine notes that wealthy households own “one of a kind works of art, ‘priceless’ jewelry, expensive cars … the list goes on and on. And now imagine the need to have all these assets valued each and every single year. It would be a total disaster show.” What effect such a measurement would have on a tax code which already comes in at 2.4 million words can already be presumed. The only ones profiting from such additional complications would be appraisers and lawyers, who will have the privilege to find out what the value of one’s wealth even is approximately… Read the rest of this entry »

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