Sunday, January 15, 2012


According to Power Line, the U.S. is slipping in economic freedom:
The source of America’s prosperity is no secret: our economy has historically been freer than those of almost all rivals. Unfortunately, that advantage–the essence of what America is all about–is being lost.

The Heritage Foundation has released its annual Index of Economic Freedom, and the United States has slipped to tenth place, trailing Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius and Ireland

Somebody should mention this to several of the idiot Republican Presidential candidates. You know the one's I'm talking about--the ones who are so obsessed with becoming the nominee, that they have abandoned even the pretense of supporting economic freedom and capitalism.

In their way of thinking, no one should ever be inconvenienced or upset when the impersonal market works its economic magic for the benefit of us all, i.e. when the creative destruction that is its hallmark brings constant change--and hope. Take Bill Gates and Microsoft, for example:
Bill Gates, with Microsoft Office, ended the need for thousands of accounting firm employees and typing pools (there are more than 1/3 fewer secretaries today than in 1980, totaling roughly 1.5 million jobs). Apple's Steve Jobs, well he probably ended the jobs of quite a few of Bill Gates' former employees by out-teching the master of tech.

If you only count jobs lost as a measure of success, then you are not understanding the way the Market works.
The problem with the entire discussion is that jobs are being used as the only measure of the "good" done by Romney. Profits are also good as they allow companies to grow and as they return capital to investors who can then fund the creation or growth of other companies. Indeed, despite our being surrounded by Keynesian-thinking politicians who believe that nothing is as important as consumers having spending money, the indirect benefits to society of profits to investors are arguably at least as large as the indirect benefits of employment.

The free market is always in a state of change, which for some may be a "Bainful" reality.

Progressives like Obama always say they want to "streamline" government, but they are lying or delusional or both. In fact, they are very regressive because they think they can accomplish efficiency and productivity without change, i.e., without ever anyone losing a job or economically suffering in the least.

But in capitalism there are winners and losers in the moment. The winners succeed, and, if they are capable of learning, the losers learn what they need to do to become winners next time around.

"Vulture" capitalism they call it; and they condemn Mitt Romney for practicing it when he was at Bain. But even vultures serve a useful purpose in life, though they get little credit for it and some find their function distasteful.

Let me be clear. I have not decided who I support in the Republican field; but this latest bit of disgusting emulation of all the egalitarian progressives who want everyone to always be equal--not in opportunity, but in outcome--is completely destructive without an ounce of creativity, i.e., it is utter delusional pandering.

It proves that even those on the right who trumpet being "pro-Market" have no idea how the Market works; and that they fully intend to continue to interfere with it in the same way the our current Dear Leader is doing.

Mona Charen captures the essence of the duplicity and hypocrisy heartlessness at issue:
So the president has proposed to streamline a number of agencies in the federal government. He claims to be trying to eliminate redundancy and duplication, but it’s clear that something else is going on.

Clearly President Obama has decided to join the Republicans in throwing widows and orphans into the snow. By suggesting that we cut vital government services, he wants to tell autistic children “You’re on your own.” He has decided to diminish “who we are” as a nation — a people who do “great things together.”

But, it is exactly a "Bainful turnaround" that is needed right now to save us all:
There’s a very troubled company out there called U.S. Government, Inc. It’s teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. And it badly needs to be taken over and turned around. It probably even needs the services of a good private-equity firm, with plenty of experience and a reasonably good track record in downsizing, modernizing, shrinking staff, and making substantial changes in management. Yes, layoffs will be a necessary part of the restructuring.

A quick look at the income statement of this troubled firm tells the story. Just in the past year (FY 2011) the firm spent $3.7 trillion, but took in only $2.2 trillion in sales revenues. Hence its deficit came to $1.5 trillion.

Advertisement Just in the first three months of the new year (FY 2012), the firm’s troubles continued. Outlays for all purposes came in at $874 billion, but income was only $554 billion. So the shortfall was $320 billion. No hope of a self-imposed turnaround here. Indeed, both the senior management and the board of directors show no signs of making major changes to their business strategy.

Hope for future profits? That’s out of the question. The firms only chance of survival is a takeover.

No wonder our economic freedom is declining in America!

I have no problem with those who want to act compassionately to help people whose lives are turned upside down because reality cannot be faked.

Right now, the biggest faker of reality is our own government and its representatives.

Think for a minute about all those who lost their jobs at Solyndra. Or all the other companies that the Obama Administration invested your and my money in who are going to go bankrupt any day now? Or, how about those who lost their livings when the US Government takeovers of the auto companies forced the closure of small plants and dealerships?

Obama's sudden fascination with "streamlining" the government is just another bit of fakery. And, frankly, I expect it from the likes of him and his cronies. No amount of reality will ever convince them that their policies lead to more suffering and pain than any venture capital firm could possibly imagine doing.

Because a venture/vulture capital firm is only in it for profit--and rightly so. The market is neutral. It doesn't care if you are black or white or yellow or green; it doesn't care if you have good intentions and want to save the earth or if you want to destroy it. It only cares about supply and demand. And whatever companies can meet the demand and supply what the consumer wants for the best possible price/quality ratio.

But your typical leftist progressive, social justice/redistributionist types are in it for far far more than some piddling profit! In fact, they turn up their noses at the idea of money (even as they cash their government checks) and disdain financial profit openly and loudly and repeatedly. What they get out of their particular brand of looting is power over others and a transcendant feeling of superiority as they contemplate their own wonderfulness.

It's bad enough to watch Obama and his crew engage in this narcissistic behavior. It's sickening to witness those who supposedly support the free market and claim to want to get the government off our backs strike at the core of how the market works.

The free market is the essence of "hope and change" in the real world not some progressive postmodern fantasy world.

How, pray tell, do they intend to get us out of debt and streamline government without being able to fire people--especially incompetent people; or lazy people; or people who have jobs that are not needed any more? How do they intend to do it without letting inefficient or badly run companies fail without bail outs from you and me?

No wonder people are seriously considering a nominee like Ron Paul, who for all his shortcomings and crackpot ideas and refusal to face reality in the foreign policy area, is at least firmly entrenched in economic reality.

It is a "Bainful" reality indeed that there are winners and losers in life. The good part is that the composition of each group changes constantly. Change and suffering go hand in hand. The forces of Nature (i.e., reality), like those of the Market, are indifferent to how any one of us might feel about it.

Reality can be very painful at times; but to ignore it always causes more pain and suffering for more people in the long run.


[More cartoons by Lisa Benson here}

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