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Posts Tagged ‘Progressives’

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : The ‘War On Terror’ Comes Home

Posted by M. C. on January 11, 2021

Those who continue to argue that the social media companies are purely private ventures acting independent of US government interests are ignoring reality. The corporatist merger of “private” US social media companies with US government foreign policy goals has a long history and is deeply steeped in the hyper-interventionism of the Obama/Biden era.

“Big Tech” long ago partnered with the Obama/Biden/Clinton State Department to lend their tools to US “soft power” goals overseas.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2021/january/11/the-war-on-terror-comes-home/?mc_cid=da4f0fca1c

Written by Ron Paul

Last week’s massive social media purges – starting with President Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter and other outlets – was shocking and chilling, particularly to those of us who value free expression and the free exchange of ideas. The justifications given for the silencing of wide swaths of public opinion made no sense and the process was anything but transparent. Nowhere in President Trump’s two “offending” Tweets, for example, was a call for violence expressed explicitly or implicitly. It was a classic example of sentence first, verdict later.

Many Americans viewed this assault on social media accounts as a liberal or Democrat attack on conservatives and Republicans, but they are missing the point. The narrowing of allowable opinion in the virtual public square is no conspiracy against conservatives. As progressives like Glenn Greenwald have pointed out, this is a wider assault on any opinion that veers from the acceptable parameters of the mainstream elite, which is made up of both Democrats and Republicans.

Yes, this is partly an attempt to erase the Trump movement from the pages of history, but it is also an attempt to silence any criticism of the emerging political consensus in the coming Biden era that may come from progressive or antiwar circles.

After all, a look at Biden’s incoming “experts” shows that they will be the same failed neoconservative interventionists who gave us weekly kill lists, endless drone attacks and coups overseas, and even US government killing of American citizens abroad. Progressives who complain about this “back to the future” foreign policy are also sure to find their voices silenced.

Those who continue to argue that the social media companies are purely private ventures acting independent of US government interests are ignoring reality. The corporatist merger of “private” US social media companies with US government foreign policy goals has a long history and is deeply steeped in the hyper-interventionism of the Obama/Biden era.

“Big Tech” long ago partnered with the Obama/Biden/Clinton State Department to lend their tools to US “soft power” goals overseas. Whether it was ongoing regime change attempts against Iran, the 2009 coup in Honduras, the disastrous US-led coup in Ukraine, “Arab Spring,” the destruction of Syria and Libya, and so many more, the big US tech firms were happy to partner up with the State Department and US intelligence to provide the tools to empower those the US wanted to seize power and to silence those out of favor.

In short, US government elites have been partnering with “Big Tech” overseas for years to decide who has the right to speak and who must be silenced. What has changed now is that this deployment of “soft power” in the service of Washington’s hard power has come home to roost.

So what is to be done? Even pro-free speech alternative social media outlets are under attack from the Big Tech/government Leviathan. There are no easy solutions. But we must think back to the dissidents in the era of Soviet tyranny. They had no Internet. They had no social media. They had no ability to communicate with thousands and millions of like-minded, freedom lovers. Yet they used incredible creativity in the face of incredible adversity to continue pushing their ideas. Because no army – not even Big Tech partnered with Big Government – can stop an idea whose time has come. And Liberty is that idea. We must move forward with creativity and confidence!


Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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The Libertarian Party Will Never Have Political Power | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on November 28, 2020

The purpose of politics is to seize power and centralize it to your party. The Left knows how to do this even when they aren’t in power and the Right fails even when they hold all the cards. As Curtis Yarvin puts it

https://libertarianinstitute.org/libertarianism/the-libertarian-party-will-never-have-political-power/

by Peter R. Quinones

Just give it up already. Those who are holding onto the dream that the LP will be able to wield any significant political, or cultural power have not thought this through. An ideology of non-aggression and voluntary interactions has no place in the political sphere unless they are willing to become like the other two parties. Their message is that we are not like them. It is one of incompatibility when it comes to Machiavellian power structures.

The purpose of politics is to seize power and centralize it to your party. The Left knows how to do this even when they aren’t in power and the Right fails even when they hold all the cards. As Curtis Yarvin puts it,

“Progressives see power as an end; conservatives see power as a means to an end. As soon as conservatives get even a sliver of power, they start trying to use this power to create good outcomes. This is irrational.

The rational way to use power is the progressive way: to make more power. Your power grows exponentially. Eventually you have all the power, and can get all the outcomes you want.

There is not one progressive idea which does not yield a power dividend. I cannot think of a conservative idea that does. If one did, the progressives would steal it. Then the conservatives would persuade themselves to oppose it, and all would be well.”

Anyone paying attention knows this. In our lifetimes the Left has grown their power – especially over the culture – to an insurmountable level. The Right has become what the Left was 25 years ago, and they always play catch-up. I hear echoes of Michael Malice saying, “Conservatism is Progressive driving the speed limit.”

What does this all mean for the Libertarian Party? It should be obvious. What is described above IS politics. It is the dirtiest, slimiest, most reprehensible way of gaining power over mankind. To argue against that is to be naive beyond measure. An ideology promoting the Non-Aggression Principle entering into the American political realm is like a kindergartener entering a UFC match. The outcome is inevitable.

And don’t think I’m just talking about the 202-area code. No, local politics is just as bad. If you’re walking in there as “the good guy” the inevitable “bad guy” will rear their head and take you out. And if you’re a Libertarian and you are “consistent” in your ideology, you won’t fight dirty because once you do you are out of the realm of libertarianism. You’ve just became “The Swamp” (even the local Swamp).

Once you understand this you realize that the old argument about whether the purpose of the Libertarian Party is one of “education” or “getting people elected” to institute political change is easily answered. You are a party of education. And one that will always be a joke in the eyes of those who understand the Machiavellian nature of politics. But is education even possible if you won’t do what it takes politically to even get on a debate stage ignoring the inability to centralize all power to you if you do get elected?

Maybe there are better ways to spend your time rather than tilting at windmills.

About Peter R. Quinones

Peter R. Quinones is managing editor of the Libertarian Institute and hosts the Free Man Beyond the Wall podcast. He released his first book, Freedom Through Memedom – The 31-day Guide to Waking Up to Liberty in November 2017. It reached #4 in the Libertarian Section on Amazon. He has spoken at Liberty Forum in Manchester, New Hampshire and is one of the Executive Producers on the documentary, “The Monopoly on Violence.” Contact him at pete@libertarianinstitute.org

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Progressives Declare War on Asians, Meritocracy and STEM – Asian Dawn

Posted by M. C. on November 24, 2020

One bitter first-generation Asian-American parent vindictively stated, “On a brighter note, I know China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore will completely destroy American companies when my children are my age because of these stupid policies. That gives me comfort. These idiotic Democrats will guarantee Asians will win—just not Asian-Americans….maybe we should go work for Asian-owned companies instead of giving our minds to Apple or Intel.”

https://www.asian-dawn.com/2020/11/19/progressives-declare-war-on-asians-meritocracy-and-stem/

November 18, 2020

Progressives all across America have declared war on Asians, meritocracy, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Recently, the San Francisco Unified School District voted to replace their merit admissions process at Lowell High School, one of the best high schools in America and also happens to be 61% Asian, with a lottery-based system.

When Asian-American parents opposed the school district’s plans to enact its new “lottery” system in late October, the school district blasted the parents by stating they were “racist” and responsible for the “toxic culture” at the school. Parents were accused of furthering the “Asian supremacy” agenda by making their children work so hard; their children’s achievements were demoralizing African-American and Latino students.

One African-American parent stated it’s because of Asians hogging up all the spaces “Black people can’t catch up technologically because the ‘stupid Asians’ are keeping black people down out of fear they’d be overtaken.”

Lowell High School demographics. Image via US News

When one angry Asian-American parent responded “Trust me, you’ll never catch up. If you need to lower-standards to get in, you’ll never beat us,” a near physical fight broke loose.

Another Asian parent screamed, “First you blame white people, now you blame us!? Grow up! Study harder or go home!”

On Halloween weekend, about 100 families, students, alumni, and community members from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology stood on the grassy lawn in front of the school and held a symbolic memorial service for America’s No. 1 high school, according to Crushing the Myth.

“Remember the glory of TJ (Thomas Jefferson),” said Yuyan Zhou, a Chinese-American alumni mother, as her friends stood around her with awards and trophies that symbolized the school’s shining achievements.

Thomas Jefferson High School will no longer be the No. 1 school in America after abolishing their merit-based admissions to make way for more less-qualified and less-deserving African-American and Latino students who could not pass TJ’s entrance exam.

The Chinese American Parents Association of Fairfax County sent a three-page letter to the Fairfax County Board of Education, opposing the lack of “respect” that Asian-Americans have been facing in the debate over TJ admissions, according to Crushing the Myth.

Thomas Jefferson High School demographics. Image via Fairfax County Public Schools

Thomas Jefferson spent over 35 years building its reputation as a premier high school. But it only took 12 Democratic members of the Fairfax County School Board only 12 minutes and 11 seconds on Tuesday night, October 6, during an online meeting to kill the school, eliminating its race-blind, merit-based admissions test.See also

Around the same time parents at TJ found out race-blind tests were eliminated, members of the Boston Public School system in Massachusetts announced they were going to eliminate academic exams to the school district’s top three schools, including O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. https://www.youtube.com/embed/eFHO_S3ITVM?feature=oembed

Boston school officials argued that STEM school’s racial demographics are “too white and too Asian and they’re both meeting or exceeding expectations at higher rates” than Black and Hispanic students and that’s not fair. The Boston Public School system calls their new plan “racial equity planning tool.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City is also planning to eliminate race-blind admissions for Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx High School of Science, citing “white supremacy” as the main factor for his quest—never mind the fact those high schools are more than 60 percent Asian.

Brave Asian Americans @placenyc_org rallied Fri to defend merit test to @StuyNY + top NYC high schools.

A girl from Bangladesh, 11, starts to speak.

A woman with Black Lives Matter tee steps in the way.

NOBODY gets between a child + education with mama + papa bears around. pic.twitter.com/FpcRIh8xWw— Asra Q. Nomani (@AsraNomani) October 24, 2020

One bitter first-generation Asian-American parent vindictively stated, “On a brighter note, I know China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore will completely destroy American companies when my children are my age because of these stupid policies. That gives me comfort. These idiotic Democrats will guarantee Asians will win—just not Asian-Americans….maybe we should go work for Asian-owned companies instead of giving our minds to Apple or Intel.”

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Powerful Presidents Are Incompatible with Liberty

Posted by M. C. on November 11, 2020

The Founders did not intend for the president to set the “national agenda, “ and they would be horrified to see modern presidents assume the authority to order American citizens indefinitely detained and even killed without due process.

The idea that the president should exercise almost unlimited powers is a legacy of the progressive movement. Progressives, who are responsible for the rise of the American welfare-warfare state, have an affinity for a strong Presidency that is not surprising. A government that aspires to run our lives, run the economy, and run the world requires a strong executive branch unfettered by the Constitution’s chains. The Cold War also provided a boost to presidential power, as it justified presidents assuming more unchecked authority in the name of “national security.”

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/november/09/powerful-presidents-are-incompatible-with-liberty/

Written by Ron Paul

The mainstream media has declared former Vice President Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election. However, this does not mean the 2020 Presidential campaign has come to an end. President Donald Trump is continuing his legal challenges to the vote counts in some key states.

The emotional investment of many Americans into the race between Trump and Biden would have shocked the drafters of the Constitution. The Constitution’s authors intended the presidency to be an office of strictly limited powers that would not impact most Americans. The Constitution authorizes the president to administer laws passed by Congress, not create laws via executive orders. The president serves as Commander-in-Chief of the military following a Congressional declaration of war, with no authority to unilaterally send troops into foreign conflict.

The Founders did not intend for the president to set the “national agenda, “ and they would be horrified to see modern presidents assume the authority to order American citizens indefinitely detained and even killed without due process.

The idea that the president should exercise almost unlimited powers is a legacy of the progressive movement. Progressives, who are responsible for the rise of the American welfare-warfare state, have an affinity for a strong Presidency that is not surprising. A government that aspires to run our lives, run the economy, and run the world requires a strong executive branch unfettered by the Constitution’s chains. The Cold War also provided a boost to presidential power, as it justified presidents assuming more unchecked authority in the name of “national security.”

The concentration of power in the executive branch does not mean presidents are all-powerful. For example, even though presidents are judged by the state of the economy, the unelected, unaccountable Federal Reserve Board typically has greater influence over the economy then the president. Presidents often must tailor their economic policies to deal with the consequences of the Fed’s actions. This is why presidents spend so much time and energy trying to influence the “non-political” Fed. Fed Chairs usually, but not always, reciprocate by attempting to tailor polices to be “useful” to the incumbent president.

It has become cliché to say that “politics stops at the water’s edge.” This means no one—not even Members of Congress, should ever oppose or second-guess a president’s foreign policy decisions. However, this rule does not apply to those comprising what has become popularly known as the “deep state”: the military-industrial complex, the national security bureaucracy—including the CIA— congressional staffers, and members of the media. This deep state serves a permanent government and has an agenda it pursues regardless of the wishes of the president or the American people.

The deep state has derailed President Trump’s (modest) efforts to fulfill his campaign promise to pursue a less interventionist foreign policy and end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Members of the deep state were instrumental in the Russiagate hoax and the impeachment of President Trump. Many supported impeachment because President Trump’s actions contradicted the DC “consensus” on US -Ukraine relations and the need for a new Cold War with Russia. President Trump is not the first president to be undermined by the deep state and he will certainly not be the last.

The 2020 election has awoken many Americans to the corruption of the modern welfare-warfare state. These Americans are ripe for the message of liberty. They can help with the vital task of demystifying the US Presidency, destroying the deep state, restoring our constitutional republic, and regaining our lost liberties.


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
Please donate to the Ron Paul Institute

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Powerful Presidents Are Incompatible with Liberty

Posted by M. C. on November 10, 2020

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/november/09/powerful-presidents-are-incompatible-with-liberty/?mc_cid=54c83944f7&mc_eid=4e0de347c8

Written by Ron Paul

The mainstream media has declared former Vice President Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election. However, this does not mean the 2020 Presidential campaign has come to an end. President Donald Trump is continuing his legal challenges to the vote counts in some key states.

The emotional investment of many Americans into the race between Trump and Biden would have shocked the drafters of the Constitution. The Constitution’s authors intended the presidency to be an office of strictly limited powers that would not impact most Americans. The Constitution authorizes the president to administer laws passed by Congress, not create laws via executive orders. The president serves as Commander-in-Chief of the military following a Congressional declaration of war, with no authority to unilaterally send troops into foreign conflict.

The Founders did not intend for the president to set the “national agenda, “ and they would be horrified to see modern presidents assume the authority to order American citizens indefinitely detained and even killed without due process.

The idea that the president should exercise almost unlimited powers is a legacy of the progressive movement. Progressives, who are responsible for the rise of the American welfare-warfare state, have an affinity for a strong Presidency that is not surprising. A government that aspires to run our lives, run the economy, and run the world requires a strong executive branch unfettered by the Constitution’s chains. The Cold War also provided a boost to presidential power, as it justified presidents assuming more unchecked authority in the name of “national security.”

The concentration of power in the executive branch does not mean presidents are all-powerful. For example, even though presidents are judged by the state of the economy, the unelected, unaccountable Federal Reserve Board typically has greater influence over the economy then the president. Presidents often must tailor their economic policies to deal with the consequences of the Fed’s actions. This is why presidents spend so much time and energy trying to influence the “non-political” Fed. Fed Chairs usually, but not always, reciprocate by attempting to tailor polices to be “useful” to the incumbent president.

It has become cliché to say that “politics stops at the water’s edge.” This means no one—not even Members of Congress, should ever oppose or second-guess a president’s foreign policy decisions. However, this rule does not apply to those comprising what has become popularly known as the “deep state”: the military-industrial complex, the national security bureaucracy—including the CIA— congressional staffers, and members of the media. This deep state serves a permanent government and has an agenda it pursues regardless of the wishes of the president or the American people.

The deep state has derailed President Trump’s (modest) efforts to fulfill his campaign promise to pursue a less interventionist foreign policy and end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Members of the deep state were instrumental in the Russiagate hoax and the impeachment of President Trump. Many supported impeachment because President Trump’s actions contradicted the DC “consensus” on US -Ukraine relations and the need for a new Cold War with Russia. President Trump is not the first president to be undermined by the deep state and he will certainly not be the last.

The 2020 election has awoken many Americans to the corruption of the modern welfare-warfare state. These Americans are ripe for the message of liberty. They can help with the vital task of demystifying the US Presidency, destroying the deep state, restoring our constitutional republic, and regaining our lost liberties.


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
Please donate to the Ron Paul Institute

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Why Socialism Won’t End Worker “Exploitation” | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 4, 2020

Böhm-Bawerk’s work, however, systematically demonstrates that so-called surplus value would not be eliminated under socialism—rather it would be shifted from capitalists to the state.

https://mises.org/wire/why-socialism-wont-end-worker-exploitation?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=f9e15e994a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-f9e15e994a-228343965

Bradley Thomas

A belief still commonly held today by not just Marxists and socialists, but progressives of many stripes, is the insistence that employers are “stealing” part of their workers’ labor because the wage workers receive from their employer are less than the contribution of their labor to the final value (i.e., selling price) of the finished good.

Profit to the employer, the argument goes, is akin to theft from the workers. Profit is “surplus value” created by the worker but taken by the capitalist, they say.

This surplus value represents an exploitative “wage theft” of sorts, and, importantly, is an exploitation that would not exist under a socialist economic system, according to their argument.

But in his 1891 book The Positive Theory of Capital, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk reveals that even a system of state-owned means of production would not eradicate such “surplus value.”

Capital and Interest

For sake of clarity, it is critical to understand that what Marxists refer to as “surplus value”—or what is otherwise commonly referred to as “profit”—Böhm-Bawerk identifies as interest.

Interest, as recognized by the Austrian school, is the difference in value between present and future goods. Other things held equal, goods of like wants satisfaction are more highly valued in the present relative to the future. People will place a higher value on, say, receiving a car today relative to a promise to receive the same vehicle five years from now.

Similarly, this time preference explains why people are willing to repay, for instance, $105 back to the bank in one year’s time in exchange for receiving $100 today.

Böhm-Bawerk applies this insight on interest to the capitalist’s “profit” on his investment in productive resources like land, labor, and capital goods.

As he would describe it, the capitalist invests present goods (money) in exchange for future goods (the revenue he receives from the sale of the finished goods). More specifically, the capitalist’s money is invested in the labor, land, and capital goods utilized to create the finished products at some future date.

To better understand why this is important, it may be easier to conceive of the transaction between workers and capitalists like a loan. For instance, the capitalist, via his investment, “lends” a sum of money today to workers in the form of wages. The capitalist, as “lender,” is then paid back at a future date, but not directly from the worker’s wallet. Instead, he’s paid back from the income he receives when selling the finished product resulting from the worker’s labor.

If the income received from the finished products is larger than the money invested in labor, the difference is considered interest, as Böhm-Bawerk describes.

Conversely, the workers are like “borrowers” in a loan situation. They receive money now with a promise to “pay back” the loan in the future, except the repayment is in the form of the future finished products created by their labor.

Marxists and progressives, however, would argue that this interest represents an exploitative surplus value when it comes to the portion of the capitalists’ investment dedicated to labor.

If a worker is paid, say, $20 today for his labor which contributed to $25 of the final sale price of the finished good, that worker was shortchanged by the $5 difference by the capitalist, they’d argue.

To rectify this unjust worker exploitation, the socialists would say, society would need to abolish the private ownership over the means of production. Instead, the state would own the means of production, and in turn the exploitative  “surplus value” taken by the capitalists would be eradicated.

Interest under Socialism

Böhm-Bawerk’s work, however, systematically demonstrates that so-called surplus value would not be eliminated under socialism—rather it would be shifted from capitalists to the state.

As a starting point, Böhm-Bawerk points out that even under state-owned means of production, present goods and future goods would not be treated as having equal value, because, as he wrote, the “difference in value between present goods and future is an elementary economic phenomenon independent of any human arrangements.” Changing the economic system won’t change that basic fact.

He continues by exploring how the situation would play out under socialism: “The Socialist state, as possessing all means of production, gets all the citizens to work in its factories, and pays them a wage. It conducts, therefore, on the largest scale the buying—forbidden to private individuals—of future good Labour.”

In calling labor a “future good,” Böhm-Bawerk refers to the finished goods that come to completion at a future date resulting from labor, and therefore representing future income to the socialist state paying the wage.

“Now, on technical grounds, various portions of the labour it buys it necessarily sets to work simultaneously towards various productive ends widely removed in point of time,” Böhm-Bawerk continues. “One group of laborers, for instance, it sets to baking; another it sets to sink mining shafts, which, perhaps, assist in turning out consumption goods only twenty years later; another it sets to replant a forest.”

“Now how much can and should the Socialist state pay as wage to those workers whose labour it directs to those far-away but productive ends?” Böhm-Bawerk asks. In other words, would the “interest” on investments in labor be the same for long-term ”loans” to workers as it would for short-term “loans”?

Imagine if the socialist state attempted to eliminate the phenomena of interest in their mission to eliminate exploitative worker “surplus.”

Workers like foresters devoted to more remote finished goods would be greatly advantaged over those devoted to more immediate ends. It would result in foresters being paid the “full value” today for the product of their labor sold a hundred years from now, whereas bakers are receiving full value today for the product of their labor sold in one day’s time.

It would be like the foresters being paid 2120 wages today while bakers have to accept 2020 wages. Clearly, there would be major incentive and rewards for workers to enter lines of work dedicated to products that won’t ripen into finished products until far into the future.

As a result, Böhm-Bawerk wrote, “If the entrance to individual branches of employment were left free to all comers, everybody would be a forester and nobody would bake bread; the country would relapse to primeval forest; and the present, with its pressing needs, would remain unprovided for.”

In order to avoid such a situation, the socialist state would need to utilize the same method of discounting wages as capitalists do.

“But if the foresters are paid exactly like bakers at 4 dollars per day, they are exploited just as they are by the capitalist undertakers under the present system,” Böhm-Bawerk wrote. “In buying the future commodity, labour, an agio is put on present goods, and the labourer, instead of his future product of $100, is put off with a present wage of $4, which represents the present value of the planted saplings. But the surplus value which these saplings take on as they grow into oak trees ready for cutting, the Socialist commonwealth puts into its pocket as real interest.”

But wouldn’t the socialist state, in the ever-present mission for “equality,” make workers whole by redistributing the funds back to them?

“It is, too, well worthy of remark that an equal distribution of the interest obtained by the Socialist state does not establish the same economic conditions as if the interest had not been taken at all,” Böhm-Bawerk answers. “In this distribution it is not the persons whose labour and product the interest was due that get the interest, but entirely different people.”

For instance, the forester whose oak obtains $100 a hundred years in the future but is paid $4 in wages today yields a “surplus” of $96. Say the state evenly divides the interest it collects in the production process by giving all workers an additional $2. The forester is still far from being made whole, according to the Marxist theory of “surplus value.”

“Thus we come to a very remarkable and noteworthy result,” Böhm-Bawerk announces. “Interest, which today the Socialists abuse as a gain got by exploitation, a robbery from the products of labor, would not disappear even in the Socialist state, but would remain, in promise and potency, as between the community organized under Socialism and its labourers, and must so remain.”

Böhm-Bawerk concludes decisively that, contra Marx, “interest is not an accidental ‘historico-legal’ category, which makes its appearance only in our individualist and capitalist society, and will vanish with it.”

Instead, interest is “an economic category, which springs from elementary economic causes, and therefore, without distinction of social organization and legislation, makes its appearance wherever there is an exchange between present and future goods.”

In sum, Böhm-Bawerk dismantles the view that a system of state-owned means of production will eliminate the “exploitation” of workers’ “surplus value” that so forcefully animates Marxist ideology. Author:

Bradley Thomas

Bradley Thomas is creator of the website EraseTheState.com, and is a libertarian activist and writer with nearly fifteen years of experience researching and writing on political philosophy and economics.

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Erie Times E-Edition Article-Progressives inflict progress in California

Posted by M. C. on September 19, 2020

Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation requiring all 430,000 undergraduates in the California State University system to take an “ethnic studies” course, and there may soon be a similar mandate for all high-school students. “Ethnic studies” is an anodyne description for what surely will be, in the hands of woke “educators,” grievance studies.

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=02be34d5b

California, our national warning, shows how unchecked progressives inflict progress. They have placed on November ballots Proposition 16 to repeal the state constitution’s provision, enacted by referendum in 1996, forbidding racial preferences in public education, employment and contracting. Repeal, which would repudiate individual rights in favor of group entitlements, is part of a comprehensive California agenda to make everything about race, ethnicity and gender. Especially education, thereby supplanting education with its opposite.

The 1996 ban on preferences was not intended to, and did not, end all measures to increase the participation of minorities and women in the state’s post-secondary education, or in doing business with the state government. So, Proposition 16 should be seen primarily as an act of ideological aggression, a bold assertion that racial and gender quotas — identity politics translated into a spoils system — should be forthrightly proclaimed and permanently practiced as a positive good.

California already requires that by the end of 2021 some publicly traded companies based in the state must have at least three women on their boards of directors, up from the 2018 requirement of one woman. Last month, the legislature mandated that by the end of 2021 at least one director shall be Black, Latino, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Alaskan Native, or identify as LGBTQ. And by 2022, boards with nine or more directors must include at least three government favored minorities.

Where will this social sorting end? Proposition 16’s aim is to see that there is no end to the industry of improvising remedial measures to bring “social justice” to a fundamentally unjust state, and nation. The aim is to dilute, to the point of disappearance, inhibitions about government using group entitlements — racial, ethnic and gender — for social engineering. Most important, Proposition 16 greases the state’s slide into the engineering of young souls.

They are to be treated as raw material for public education suffused with the spirit of Oceania in George Orwell’s “1984”: “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” Progressives have a practical objective in teaching the essential squalor of the nation’s past. The New York Times’s “1619 Project” — it preaches that the nation’s real founding was the arrival of the first slaves; the nation is about racism — is being adopted by schools as a curriculum around the nation. If the past can be presented as radically wrong, radical remedies will seem proportionate.

Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation requiring all 430,000 undergraduates in the California State University system to take an “ethnic studies” course, and there may soon be a similar mandate for all high-school students. “Ethnic studies” is an anodyne description for what surely will be, in the hands of woke “educators,” grievance studies.

Discussions of the proposed high-school requirement are being conducted in the progressive patois about “collective narratives of transformative resistance” in the “postimperial life” of a nation groaning under the bondage of capitalist, patriarchal and other “systems of power.” Students will be taught to become “positive actors,” with the government’s public-education bureaucracy stipulating what political positions are and are not “positive.”

Coming in the context of such measures, Proposition 16’s proposed repeal of the ban on racial preferences should be understood as repealing all scruples about the government- approved groupthink that Orwell warned against in “1984.” In this enterprise, California progressives have company.

Writing in the British journal Standpoint, Charles Parton, with 22 years of diplomatic experience working in and on China, explains that President Xi Jinping’s hostility to freedom’s prerequisites includes root-and-branch rejection of education, understood as the development of individuals’ abilities to think critically. Xi, who calls teachers “engineers of the soul,” wants education to be, Parton says, “collective, ideological and political.” The Chinese Communist Party says education begins by “grasping the baby,” primary school promotes “loving” the party, socialism and the collective, secondary schools inculcate “the ideology of socialist builders,” and universities must be, in Xi’s words, “CCP strongholds.”

The CCP’s and California’s indoctrinators differ somewhat concerning the particular mentalities they aim to impose. But both groups would extinguish actual education — teaching individuals how, as opposed to what, to think.

The principal difference is that the CCP is more candid than California is about replacing thinking with the regurgitation of governmentstipulated orthodoxies.

In 1932, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis celebrated how a single state “may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” Or as a warning to it. George Will is a Washington Post columnist. Email him at georgewill@washpost.com.

George Will

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Progressives, the President, Privatization, and the Post Office – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 1, 2020

But just because post offices are authorized doesn’t mean that they are mandated. And nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the Post Office should have a monopoly on first-class mail like it currently has.

Privatizing the Post Office would merely shift the postal monopoly from the government to a government-privileged firm. Mail service should be freed, not privatized. As long as we have a Post Service, it should adjust its prices so that they have some relation to a valid business model that seeks to turn a profit. But regardless, the postal monopoly should be ended.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/09/laurence-m-vance/progressives-the-president-privatization-and-the-post-office/

By

The latest spat between progressives and President Trump is over the Post Office.

The New York Times is all but accusing the president of withholding funds from the Post Office so as to undercut voting by mail, which he sees as being riddled with fraud. A spokesman for the Biden campaign put it this way:

The president of the United States is sabotaging a basic service that hundreds of millions of people rely upon, cutting a critical lifeline for rural economies and for delivery of medicines, because he wants to deprive Americans of their fundamental right to vote safely during the most catastrophic public health crisis in over 100 years.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was even more adamant: “I am not exaggerating when I say this is a life-and-death situation. The Post Office is delivering medicine to millions of Americans during a pandemic. It delivers Social Security checks to seniors who rely on those benefits to survive.” This, of course is nonsense, as is most of what Sanders says. Over 99 percent of Social Security payments are sent via direct deposit. And mail prescriptions only make up only 5.8 percent of the prescription drug market.

The Post Office has a problem, but the problem has existed since long before Trump was elected. The United States Postal Service (USPS) lost almost $9 billion last year. It has lost $83.1 billion since 2006. Its unfunded pension and health-care liabilities exceed $120 billion.

The Post Office has a pricing problem. Revenue from first-class mail—the biggest source of the USPS’s revenue—continues to decline even as labor costs continue to increase. Of the 142.6 billion pieces of mail that the Post Office handled in 2019, “53 percent was advertising material, a.k.a. junk mail, up from 48 percent in 2010.” And “companies pay a special rate, 19 cents apiece, to send these items (in bulk), as opposed to the 55 cents for a first-class stamp.”

But even if the Post Office raised its prices on all of its services other than first-class mail, it would still have a problem.

The Post Office is one of the federal government’s few departments that is clearly authorized by the Constitution. In Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 7, Congress is given the power “to establish Post Offices and post Roads.”

But just because post offices are authorized doesn’t mean that they are mandated. And nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the Post Office should have a monopoly on first-class mail like it currently has. As James Bovard has well said:

The Postal Service has gotten away with scorning its customers because it is effectively a federal crime to provide better mail service than the government. The Postal Service has a monopoly over letter delivery (with a limited exemption for urgent, courier-delivered letters costing more than $3).

According to U.S. Code, Title 39, Chapter I, Subchapter E, Part 310, Section 310.2, “Unlawful carriage of letters,”

(a) It is generally unlawful under the Private Express Statutes for any person other than the Postal Service in any manner to send or carry a letter on a post route or in any manner to cause or assist such activity. Violation may result in injunction, fine or imprisonment or both and payment of postage lost as a result of the illegal activity.

In the nineteenth century, private mail carriers in the United States were shut down by the federal government.

Monopolies are contrary to principles of economic freedom, competition, free markets, and free enterprise. But don’t take my word for it. The federal government has an Antitrust division in the Department of Justice (DOJ) charged with promoting “economic competition through enforcing and providing guidance on antitrust laws and principles.” According to the DOJ:

The goal of the antitrust laws is to protect economic freedom and opportunity by promoting free and fair competition in the marketplace.

Competition in a free market benefits American consumers through lower prices, better quality and greater choice. Competition provides businesses the opportunity to compete on price and quality, in an open market and on a level playing field, unhampered by anticompetitive restraints. Competition also tests and hardens American companies at home, the better to succeed abroad.

Federal antitrust laws apply to virtually all industries and to every level of business, including manufacturing, transportation, distribution, and marketing. They prohibit a variety of practices that restrain trade, such as price-fixing conspiracies, corporate mergers likely to reduce the competitive vigor of particular markets, and predatory acts designed to achieve or maintain monopoly power.

So where is the DOJ? The postal monopoly is now almost two centuries old.

Privatizing the Post Office would merely shift the postal monopoly from the government to a government-privileged firm. Mail service should be freed, not privatized. As long as we have a Post Service, it should adjust its prices so that they have some relation to a valid business model that seeks to turn a profit. But regardless, the postal monopoly should be ended.

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About Those Spooky Federal Cops in Portland | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on July 21, 2020

Constitutionally, there are only three federal crimes: treason, piracy, and counterfeiting. No standing federal police agencies or apparatus are required to enforce these; in fact the latter appears to be the express policy of our central bank. There should not be federal agents, overt or covert, in Portland.

https://mises.org/power-market/about-those-spooky-federal-cops-portland

Jeff Deist

Dear Portlandia progressives: a federal government big enough to take care of you is a federal government big enough to “take care of  you.”

Scary unidentifiable police, federal black sites, and procedureless snatching of individuals from the streets are the wholly predictable and natural consequences of the very policies you advocated for decades. Why do you imagine a big government with lots of power will restrict itself to the cozy “social issues” and economic takings you support? Government can seize the means of production, but not seize you? You wanted everything run from DC, and you got what you wanted. Plus you certainly would be every bit as outraged if federal agents concerned about the undermining of America surreptitiously snatched up a few “white supremacists,” right?

Progressives of all parties have cheered the relentless centralization of state matters—and rejection of the Tenth Amendment—for nearly 150 years. The shaky and infirm Incorporation Doctrine federalized the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court federalized social and economic issues, and the the alphabet soup of federal agencies created by progressive administrations federalized the regulatory state. Foreign policy was ripped away from Congress and commandeered by bureaucratic Deep State actors at the DOD, CIA, NSA, and the State Department. Thousands of new federal crimes were created by statute. These statutes in turn created a vast federal police state, one heavily influenced and provisioned by the residual weaponry and machinery of our overseas wars.

So now you wonder why the Feds are sent in to quell an uprising in Portland?

Who wanted to make the world safe for democracy? Remember Woodrow Wilson, suddenly a bad guy because of racism? At least Truman had the honesty to admit regrets about creating the CIA. Who wanted federal control over the retrograde Southern states? Who dismissed the Ninth and Tenth Amendments as relics? Who derided states’ rights and nullification as legal cover for bigotry? And for the millionth time, “states’ rights” does not mean states have “rights” relative to their citizens; it refers to their retained powers in a federal system—so enough with the dishonest smears.

Who shrugged at Waco and Guantanamo Bay, for that matter? Or when Obama signed the NDAA?

At this writing, federal agents operating in the City of Roses appear to be from the Department of Homeland Security (sic). Here is what Ron Paul, a true man of peace yet despised by progressives, had to say back in 2002, shortly after the DHS was created with overwhelming support in Congress:

The Homeland Security department, like all federal agencies, will increase in size exponentially over the coming decades. Its budget, number of employees, and the scope of its mission will EXPAND. Congress has no idea what it will have created twenty or fifty years hence, when less popular presidents have the full power of a domestic spying agency at their disposal. The frightening details of the Homeland Security bill, which authorizes an unprecedented level of warrantless spying on American citizens, are still emerging. Those who still care about the Bill of Rights, particularly the 4th amendment, have every reason to be alarmed. But the process by which Congress created the bill is every bit as reprehensible as its contents. Of course the Homeland Security bill did receive some opposition from the President’s critics. Yet did they attack the legislation because it threatens to debase the 4th amendment and create an Orwellian surveillance society? Did they attack it because it will chill political dissent or expand the drug war? No, they attacked it on the grounds that it failed to secure enough high-paying federal union jobs, thus angering one of Washington’s most powerful special interest groups. Ultimately, however, even the most prominent critics voted for the bill.

Similarly, Dr. Paul was scorned and attacked by progressives of all parties in the early 2000s for labeling the Bush/Ashcroft/Yoo junta as a “police state.” He was dismissed for opposing TSA at the airport, for opposing FISA warrants, for his Fourth Amendment absolutism, and especially for warning how American forays in the Middle East would come home in a multitude of ways.

Constitutionally, there are only three federal crimes: treason, piracy, and counterfeiting. No standing federal police agencies or apparatus are required to enforce these; in fact the latter appears to be the express policy of our central bank. There should not be federal agents, overt or covert, in Portland. The riots taking place there are criminal matters for local authorities and local authorities alone. If residents and local politicians prefer to give the mob freedom to run amok over both public (taxpayer) and private property, while also threatening the physical safety of ordinary citizens, Uncle Sam has nothing to say about it. But the same people who demanded endless growth in the federal police and regulatory state ought to be more circumspect today. A cynic might call them hypocrites.

 

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Just Who the Hell is Running Joe Biden’s Brain?

Posted by M. C. on June 20, 2020

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2020/06/just-who-hell-is-running-joe-bidens.html

As Joe Biden picks up steam in the presidential campaign, it makes sense to look at which economists are advising him. One problem. It’s a secret.

The New York Times reports:

Few aspects of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign are shrouded in as much secrecy as the counsel he receives on the economy: which advisers have the most sway with the presumptive Democratic nominee, what ideas have the greatest currency, and what new policies Mr. Biden will ultimately embrace to address the racial inequities now animating protests nationwide.

Some broad contours have become clear. Mr. Biden plays down concerns about the deficit during this recession, aides say, and he has begun soliciting ambitious plans to bridge the gap in earnings and wealth between black and white Americans. His regular briefings are by a small group of liberal economists and others with roots in the Obama White House and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. And he sees the economic recovery as his foremost duty if he wins the presidency.

Yet the details of the policymaking process are closely held. Mr. Biden is now seeking input from more than 100 left-leaning economists and other researchers, but there is little clarity on who has true influence…A three-page document, sent last month ahead of the committee’s first online meeting, warned participants not to circulate email from committee leaders or refer to “the candidate or to the campaign” in documents.

“You are not to disclose the names of others who are involved in the committee to nonmembers,” according to the memo, which has not previously been reported.

 Members were allowed to tell friends and colleagues that they are participating, it continued, but “you should not, however, disclose your participation on social media such as Facebook or LinkedIn or in your professional bio.”

A section about press inquiries began, “Simply put, do not talk to the press.”

I am not expecting any sound economic policy if Biden gets elected but at this point, we don’t even know what bad direction he would go in. It might be very bad.

There is a hint that the secrecy may be because the advisers are radical left economists.

The Times again:

Conversations with policy experts close to the Biden campaign suggest that Mr. Biden has thus far leaned on a core group of advisers who roughly match his own ideological standing within a Democratic Party that has steadily moved left since Barack Obama won the White House in 2008. Mr. Biden appears to have widened that group to include some of the young and sharply progressive thinkers who drove the policy debate leftward during much of the 2020 Democratic primary campaign.

To wit: Asked over email if he was advising Mr. Biden, Gabriel Zucman, one of the architects of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposed tax on high-wealth Americans, referred a reporter to an email address for Mr. Biden’s press office. That address matched one that campaign officials sent to members of the newly formed economic policy committee, with instructions to give it to reporters in the event of questions about Mr. Biden.

It’s clear that whoever is running Biden wants the radicals in.

More from The Times:

Mr. Biden has faced pressure from progressives who have objected to his receiving advice from Lawrence Summers, a former Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton and top economic aide to Mr. Obama whom they fault over his record in areas like financial regulation and climate change.

Waleed Shahid, a spokesman for Justice Democrats, a progressive group, warned against relying on what he described as the “old guard” of Democratic economists.

I have written previously about the radical Zucman :

 Cal Berkeley economists Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez hate capitalism, free markets and the accumulation of wealth.

They are Elizabeth Warren’s two top economic advisers.

And in a post titled Krugman is Promoting Two Tax Maniacs, I wrote::

 Zucman has called for taxing private charities and philanthropic foundations, in addition to wealthy incomes.

Zucman and Saez are also the developers of Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax.

RW

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