Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Competitors be warned

Government Motors has powerful allies: The White House, FBI, FCC, NLRB, EPA, IRS, etc., etc.

Ford pulls its ad on bailouts

This is what happens when government seizes corporations. If it will decide to give money to a corporation going bankrupt, to negate legal contracts... to suspend the rule of law, then government owns the result. In the case of GM, literally and morally.

Criticism of such a deal is automatically politicized, and while political speech may be protected under the First Amendment; what is that to the Corporatist Axis? The Axis will suppress free speech in order to protect its political agenda reciprocal "investment."

Ford should keep on, I'll even buy one I don't yet need just to get in Corporatism's face.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Fifth

I often assume "Most people already know this, it's been widely mentioned. Don't bother to repost it."

Often, I am wrong. In this case if only one more person learns about it, that will be important.

Therefore, I'm posting this for whatever wider distribution that may achieve:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thank you Mr. president

49% of Americans believe the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. In 2003, less than a third (30%) believed this.
Without you, Friedrich Hayek may not have experienced such an upswell of interest.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Close the tax loopholes!

Those tall bars don't represent job destroying tax loopholes. In Ecotropia, they're your fair share of saving the planet: One political donor at a time.
Source: Committee on the Budget: U.S. House of Representatives
The Empty Promise of Green Jobs

Of course, the half-billion dollars Solyndra destroyed, or the money Jennifer Granholm, et. al. wasted on ethanol and batteries isn't even counted in this graph.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Obama does not have a tin ear

Depending on the day and the poll, some 70% of Americans oppose more stimulus and think the federal government spends too much. The president knows this; he is a well informed man. Yet in deed and word he not only supports more spending, he demands it.
"What do you think a stimulus is? It's spending - that's the whole point. Seriously".

It reminds me of Frederick the Great's famous pronouncement:

"The People are free to say whatever they want and I am free to do whatever I want."

That is not a tin ear; it is just plain old-fashioned arrogance. In both instances.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stephen Harper for President

TOC has skewered Canada from time to time (I lived there for over 20 years), but we've also run quite a few "What we can learn from Canada" posts. There are 79 posts (I didn't count for criticism vs. praise) "labeled" 'Canada' going back to 2006.

I greatly appreciate Stephen Hayward's point at Power Line:
How can it be that after all these years of making fun of Canada for all of the right reasons (its anti-Americanism, its social democratic welfare state, its ludicrous Steyn-hunting “human rights” commissions, its export of Michael J. Fox and William Shatner, etc.), it can now be held up as a superior model to Obama’s America?

What I cannot comprehend is how Hayward failed to mention Jennifer Granholm in his critique of Canadian expats. Then too, he had to be reminded of Celine Dion.

At least Celine Dion's recordings have the social utility to be used to torture those incarcerated at Gitmo. The real damage to this country was done by Jennifer Granholm. Forgiving Canada for that will take a long time.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Soft default

Paul Krugman offers further proof that winning a Nobel Prize damages your brain:
What would a real response to our [economic] problems involve?... it would involve an all-out effort by the Federal Reserve to get the economy moving, with the deliberate goal of generating higher inflation to help alleviate debt problems.
It seems to me that the Fed is already doing what Krugman asks inflation-wise, but, like Stimulus One, it's just not big enough.

One wonders what an all-out effort would look like? Weimar? Zimbabwe? THOSE were all out efforts to inflate debt away.

More than "appearance" of corruption

Much more.
The Solyndra Fraud

Appearance of corruption

Among other things, capitalism is about taking risk. When the government removes all risk from an "investment", the result cannot be called capitalism. It can be called corporatism, crony capitalism, mercantilism, fascism or socialism, but not capitalism. Such deals are the province of corporatist whores and their government enablers who suspend the rule of law in order to loot the public treasury.

Solyndra "investors" took out a 535 million dollar risk-free loan from you, and they are not going to pay it back.
The Obama administration restructured a half-billion dollar federal loan to a troubled solar energy company in such a way that private investors — including a fundraiser for President Barack Obama — moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of a default, government records show.

Administration officials defended the loan restructuring, saying that without an infusion of cash earlier this year, solar panel maker Solyndra Inc. would likely have faced immediate bankruptcy, putting more than 1,000 people out of work.
"Without an infusion of cash... Solyndra Inc. would likely have faced immediate bankruptcy?" So, instead of 1,000 lost jobs we have 1,000 lost jobs at a cost of $535,000 per lost job, and those whose lost their jobs don't get the money, the venture huckster-bundlers do.

The "appearance of corruption" is a good enough reason for the Supreme Court of the United States to suspend our First Amendment rights. The appearance of corruption is apparently not a good enough reason to avoid giving free money to Solyndra connected bundlers.

Go figure.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 17, 1787

The Constitution of the United States was signed 224 years ago today.

Celebrate it. Defend it.

Arm yourself to do so here, courtesy of Hillsdale College.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Social Security is a compulsory Ponzi scheme

Apropos of his fear of calling a spade a spade (see also Obamneycare) Mitt Romney took Rick Perry to task last night because Perry called Social Security a Ponzi scheme. James Taranto mounts a defense of sorts:
Perry was not claiming that Social Security is literally a criminal enterprise but asserting that there are similarities between Social Security and a Ponzi scheme.
It is probably true that Perry did not literally mean Social Security is a criminal enterprise. It should be noted, however, that Social Security is not a criminal enterprise only by definition. The people who define what constitutes a criminal enterprise say so.

Imagine Social Security as an investment fund offered by a private company. The Social Security "prospectus" makes guarantees it manifestly cannot fulfill, and the executives in charge largely continue to lie about that. Its accounting practices are much worse than those of Enron. Payments are funded in a way which put Bernie Madoff in jail. The major difference between Madoff and the United States government is that Madoff could not legally exact "investments" with the threat of violence.

If Madoff could legally have paid US dollar investments back in Zimbabwean dollars, he'd be a free man. In contrast, those ultimately in charge of Social Security deliberately and continuously debase SS payments to their own advantage. Unaccountably, they are free men.

Social Security would be a better system if it were a criminal enterprise.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Analysis of our president's address to a Joint Session of Congress

Anyone who opposes me... blah, blah... Democrat applause line... blah, blah... is a foolish, anti-American, baby eating Republican... blah, blah... applause line no one could disagree with if they believed he meant it... blah, blah... Democrat applause line... who deserves to be tarred and feathered because he hates teachers, old people and bridges... blah, blah... blah, blah... hundreds of billions... blah, blah... fiscally responsible, will be paid for... bleh, bleh... there's an election in 14 months... blah, blah.

He does seem to have got his 2008 teleprompters back in service. They did a fine job.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Turning America into Detroit

The congresscritters in Atlas Shrugged said things similar in meaning, but not one of them was so dumb as Maxine "Moral Hazard" Waters.
If they [banks] don’t come up with loan modifications and keep people in their homes that they’ve worked so hard for, we’re going to tax them out of business
The ways in which this is stupid are beyond counting, but one has to wonder what is Ms Waters plan if she destroys all the banks. Didn't we just get done bailing them out?* Are they suddenly too resistant to making more stupid loans not to be forced to fail?

Ms Waters, of course, is the congresscritter who threatened to nationalize the oil companies, "[T]his liberal will be all about socialize [sic], ah ... basically, ... about the government taking over and running your companies!" One can presume she means the same thing when threatening to tax banks into extinction. The "government taking over your banks and giving them to Fannie Mae." We know how that's worked so far.

Even aside from its lack of conciseness, "the government taking over and running your companies," is not a good euphemism for "socialize." It is far too straightforward. But Maxine Waters apparently didn't even get the memo that the proper description of her statist policies is "progressive," which at least has the virtue of moving the statists away from their appropriation of "liberal." A word that doesn't mean what they've turned it into.

*Including her husband's to the tune of $12 million.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Things you won't see in the Lansing State Journal

...nor elsewhere in the statist media.

Jimmy Hoffa warming up the crowd for our president yesterday:
We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner. It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We’re going to win that war.

President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let’s take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong.
To be clear, the LSJ, et. al. did report on the Detroit rally, they simply fail to mention Hoffa's "incivlity."

No one in the MSM seems to recall our president's comments following the Tucson shootings:
But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.
Of course, we can't talk in a healing way to people whose motivation is asking the national government to live within its means. That's crazy talk. As the Vice President has indicated, such people are terrorists - unworthy of civil discourse

Monday, September 05, 2011

Your labor is your property, too

The euphemism "Public/Private Partnership" contains 3 lies in as many words. It isn't "public," it's government. It isn't "private," it's crony capitalists. It isn't "partnership," it's conspiracy. The inevitable result of "public/private partnership" is waste. The only variables are the extent to which liberty is diminished and the amount of public treasure wasted.

At the middle of that scale we have the abject failure of the City of New London/Pfizer Corporation gang-theft of Susette Kelo's home and those of her neighbors. It's not easy to fail so spectacularly, it took impressive incompetence and around $100 million to turn a neighborhood into a wasteland. In the end, imposing this urban blight hinged on the collusion of the Supreme Court of the United States. Federal institutions didn't start it though, the plan was the brain-child of regional government.

Here are some relevant facts about the government/corporatist looters in New London, Connecticut; the quintessential example of what politicians and rent-seeking businesses mean by public/private partnership:
New London had a population of 27,620 at the 2010 census. The Norwich-New London metropolitan area (NECTA[2]) includes twenty-one towns[3] and 274,055 people.[4]

...On February 22, 2005, the United States Supreme Court decided in Kelo v. City of New London, that the city may seize privately owned real property under eminent domain so that it could be used for private economic development, deciding the tax revenue from the private development satisfied the requirement for public interest for eminent domain.
This decision is of a piece with the use of the Commerce Clause to justify forcing Americans to purchase health insurance. If the only requirement for seizure of private property is a local official's estimate of future potential tax revenue, what constraint is there? How does your labor differ in principal? Answer: It doesn't. If you're nearing retiremment age, you've been looted in exchange for promises of Social Security and Medicare you won't see. If you're younger you will be looted for decades whether those promises are kept or not. You don't even have to be born yet.
In spite of the city's legal victory, the project never got off the ground. The city's chosen redeveloper was not able to get financing for the project. In spite of an expenditure over eighty million dollars by the city acquiring and demolishing the area where the taken homes once stood, is now a vacant. In November, 2009, Pfizer, which was to be the primary beneficiary of the redevelopment, announced that they instead are closing their facility adjacent to the site and moving those operations across the Thames River to their site in Groton.[7][8] The New London campus was sold to General Dynamics in 2010.
Where, one might ask, could a city of 27,000 find $80 million with which to persecute and defraud a handful of its citizens? From its regional government:
New London has a form of government centering on a professional city manager and elected city council. Distinct town and city government structures formerly existed, and technically continue. However, they now govern exactly the same territory, and have elections on the same ballot on Election Day in November, the first Tuesday after the first Monday, of odd-numbered years; the officials of town and city interact essentially as do the officials of a single town or city who have different but related responsibilities and powers.

As of 1960, counties in Connecticut do not have any associated county government structure. All municipal services are provided by the towns. In order to address regional issues concerning infrastructure, land use, and economic development, regional councils of governments throughout the state were established in 1989. Most of the towns of New London County are part of the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments, the exceptions being the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, and Lebanon. Lyme and Old Lyme are part of the Connecticut River Estuary Regional Planning Agency, while Lebanon is part of the Windham Regional Council of Governments.
Whenever you hear that we need regional government co-operation, think of Kelo, and if what you hear is coupled with the words "sustainable development," think twice about the outcomes and read up on Agenda 21. Think about half a billion dollars up in smoke at Solyndra.

So what does New London have to show for its arrogance? A 91 acre, weed-strewn dump occupied by feral cats; where there once was a vibrant community. And New London also has 1,400 fewer jobs. Pfizer pulled out of New London, taking those jobs with it.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Chris Whalen says "print money"

In a King World News broadcast, yesterday, the respected bank analyst openly and unequivocally calls for the Fed to "print money".

I defer to Whalen's judgment regarding bank securities (he thinks BAC should declare Chapter 11). But I often disagree with Whalen on policy issues, and this money printing nonsense is another example.

As I have previously opined, this guy is no Austrian.