Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A “Left-Right Alliance” Against Public Sector Unions?

Several vital public policy issues, among them corporate welfare, Crony capitalism, charter schools, pension reform and public employee union privileges, represent opportunities for sincere persons on both sides of the political divide to unite for reform.

Read the complete article at

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Political Correctness Run Too Amok Even for the Grown-up Left

Conservatives and Republicans are appalled by the depths to which political correctness has sunk on college campuses, to the point where even a liberal's liberal like Robert Birgeneau, Chancellor of UC Berkeley, is considered beyond the pale because he cleared Sproul Plaza of Occupy protesters.
Dan Henninger of the Wall Street Journal documents the absurdities in Bonfire of the Humanities. Brett Stephens reminds the graduating kindergarteners that they don't have the right not to be offended, and that they'd better get over that soon in To the Class of 2014.
But to their credit, prominent intellectuals of the Left, notably of the New York Times, also see the ridiculousness and danger in how far the censorship has gone. While reserving their right to criticize (and freely exercising their skills of derision of) Republicans and conservatives, they too warn of the consequences of such a closed-eared public square. See the unsigned editorial Tongue-tied on Campus, Condi's Lesson, by Maureen Dowd and/or The Commencement Bigots, by Timothy Egan.

Maybe we can yet preserve a pluralistic society with a diversity of opinion.

Monday, May 19, 2014

India Gets Economics

The electorate of India has decisively rejected socialist welfare politics and corruption and instead embraced free-market Capitalism and growth.
Someone wake me when California voters do the same.

Read Howard Hyde's first article for at

Throw the!

The latest backlash against over-privileged public officials is taking the form of a bill known as the 'If our military has to fly coach then so should Congress' Act.
But elected official's perks are not the biggest problem. UN-elected and unaccountable arbitrary power is.

Read the complete article by Howard Hyde at

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Most Popular Week of March 11-17

Here below are the most popular posts on for the past week:

Bill's Bills May 2014
William Saracino digests the latest legislative mischief emanating from Sacramento.

Taxes, Pfizer and Hostility to Capital Freedom
Extortionists on one side of the Atlantic, protectionists on the other.

California’s Golden Goose Getting Throttled
In case you’ve been asleep for 30 years, California’s economy is not what it used to be.

U.S. Internet Content Censored by Putin?
Unfriendly foreign governments may be able to restrict what content is available not only to their own people, but even to Americans.

Lift the Campaign Finance Restrictions
Surely money is bad for politics? But the attempt to remove money from politics has backfired.

The Unholy Trinity of Public Sector Unions, Environmentalists, and Wall Street
Three unlikely allies create a moral hazard to the fiscal health of the state of California.

Clueless King of TARP Bank Bailouts Trumpets his Record
According to Thomas Freeman of the Wall Street Journal, by Timothy Geithner's own admission, he (Geithner) "didn't see the mortgage crisis coming and didn't grasp the severity of the problems after it occurred."

The Tarnished Brass State
Even liberals are now talking about making California a more friendly place for business... but only for hot and sexy ones. Why don't we dump crony socialism and give breaks to everyone instead?

Post-Obamacare Reform
Obamacare is now a dead letter. Here's what we have to do next.

The Capitalist Bibliography
The Top Ten Easy-to-Read popular expositions on economics and capitalism
The Top Ten Hardcore Scholarly Treatises on economics
The Top Five Most Dangerous Anti-capitalist Rants
Other Books of Interest

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Taxes, Pfizer and Hostility to Capital Freedom

238 years since Adam Smith exploded the myths of beggar-thy-neighbor mercantilism in The Wealth of Nations in the same year as the United States declared independence from Great Britain, and 85 years since the Smoot-Hawley tariff precipitated the Great Crash, protectionists on both sides if the Atlantic are opposing and meddling in free international commerce.

The American drug company Pfizer wants to take over the British firm AstraZeneca. This would make Pfizer a U.K.-based company for tax purposes, effectively escaping an increasingly hostile and extortionist American tax policy. This of course does not please the US tax authorities. How dare Pfizer desert it's patriotic duty to cough up another billion?

Meanwhile, nationalist purists and unions in the UK object to this infusion of capital into their economy, largely because it gives them less control over other people's money. The general population of Britain should see through this phony concern for their well-being.

Read the complete article at The Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Clueless King of TARP Bank Bailouts Trumpets his Record

Timothy Geithner, Regional Federal Reserve President for TARP (2008) and Treasury Secretary 2009-13, is making news waves with his new book and double-down defense of his actions, 'Stress Test'. According to James Freeman of The Wall Street Journal, the man at or near the center of the $800 billion bank bailout had no private-sector finance experience prior to becoming President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Also according to Freeman, by Geithner's own admission, he (Geithner) "didn't see the mortgage crisis coming and didn't grasp the severity of the problems after it occurred."

Those of us familiar with Austrian Business Cycle theory, including the Wall Street Journal editorial board circa 2007, could not have seen it more clearly if we were tied to railroad tracks with a locomotive bearing down on us.

To understand what I'm talking about, see: How the Business Cycle Happens, by Murray Rothbard.

[Aside to Rothbard/Rockwell/Ron Paul haters: Get over it. We're not talking foreign policy here.]

To see what Freeman is talking about, see his book review: The Man Who Knew too Little.

For the antidote to TARP bailout apologists, see Thomas Sowell's 'The Housing Boom and Bust' and/or John Allison's 'The Financial Crisis and the Free-Market Cure'.

Good, Bad and Ugly California Legislative Agenda

By William Saracino
[Published in the March 2014 newsletter of the Southern California Rebublican Women and Men]
The legislative session still being young, the usual plethora of mutant legislation has not yet started its long march through the process. Hence below I offer you another installment of the good, bad and ugly from the political arena.
The Ugly
Legislation co-authored by a dozen Democrats that would extend mandatory pre-K pre-school starting at the age of one. Yes, one, as in 12 months after birth. The Democrats blather on about the need for healthy children, proper nutrition, etc., apparently forgetting that there are people called parents and societal units called families that are supposed to provide these things and in fact do provide these things in the vast majority of cases. Make no mistake about it, this push has nothing to do with the well being of children and everything to do with extending the control of the government over children at as young an age as possible.
The Bad
Dear Leader – that would be Mr. Obama to the Democrats – recently tried to defend his “if you like your doctor you can keep him” lies during his campaign to pass Obamacare. His answer is a classic in double speak, to which I cannot possible do justice. So here is his quote (emphasis added):
“What we have said is, for example, if you’re in the middle of life-saving treatment with a particular doctor, then we will work to make sure that you can keep, uh, that treatment, and not shift. But for the average person, many folks who don’t who don’t have health insurance initially, um, you know, they’re gonna have to make some choices, and, they might end up having to switch doctors, in part because they’re saving money. But that’s true, you know, if, if, your employer suddenly decides: we think this network’s gonna give a better deal, we think this is gonna help keep premiums lower, uh, you gotta use this doctor as opposed to that one, or this hospital as opposed to that one. Uh, the good news is, in most states, people have more than one option. And, you know, what they’ll find, I think is that their doctor, or network, or hospital that’s conveniently located is probably in one of those networks. Now, you may find out that that network’s more expensive than another network. And then you’ve gotta make a choice in terms of what’s right for your family. Do you want to save on cost, or do you want to save on convenience?”
Just like “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, period.”…right?
The Good
Republicans won a special election for a Florida congressional seat that was widely considered a probably Democrat pick-up. Neutral observers, as well as the spin-doctors in both parties spent the week leading up to the election forecasting a Democrat win…the Democrat spinners crowing and the Republican spinners making in-advance excuses. The Republican won – which is important. Even more important is how he won – but making the repeal of Obamacare the center piece of his campaign, as well as having a concrete, positive proposal to replace Obamacare. Equally important, all GOP factions united to defeat the Democrat instead of take shots at the Republican nominee…an example we can only hope spreads to California.
Over and out for now – hope to see you all at our next meeting so we can discuss these topics and many more.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Bill's Bills April 2014

By William Saracino
[Published in the April newsletter of the Southern California Rebublican Women and Men]
The clown-car known as the California Legislature is picking up steam as Spring advances – with Democrats never losing their zeal to push California ever further down the lists of desirable states in which to live. We are currently at or near the top in tax and and regulation burden on citizens and business, and near the bottom for student performance and business climate. Our Democrats are trying very hard to make things even worse.
SB 935 – Leno – D – San Francisco. Raises the minimum wage $13 an hour – thereby insuring that the first rung of the job ladder is even more inaccessible to young people entering the work force.
AB 1897 (Hernández; D-West Covina). Unfairly imposes liability on a general contractor entity for the a sub- contractor’s wage and hour violations, lack of worker’s compensation coverage, and/or failure to remit employee contributions. Penalties can be applied to the general contractor without any evidence that the contracting entity controlled the working conditions or wages of the sub-contractor’s employees.
AB 2416 (Stone; D-Scotts Valley). Creates a dangerous and unfair precedent in the wage and hour arena by allowing employees to file liens on an employer’s real or personal property, or property where work was performed, based upon allegations only, without having to wait for proof that violations exist.
SB 1188 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara). Significantly increases product defect litigation and associated claims by allowing consumers to pursue claims after the warranty has expired for “material” omissions regarding the product that are unrelated to any health and safety concerns.
SB 404 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara).Makes it virtually impossible for employers to manage their employees and exposes them to a higher risk of litigation by expanding the Fair Employment and Housing Act to include a protected classification for any person who is, perceived to be, or associated with an individual who provides medical or supervisory care to a listed family member.
ACA 3 (Campos; D-San Jose) Lowers Vote Requirement for Tax Increases — Adds complexity and uncertainty to the current tax structure and pressure to increase taxes on commercial, industrial and residential property owners by giving local governments new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to fifty-five percent.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – is it any wonder business’s are leaving California in droves? YOU have the power to help stop this nonsense – become an active member of the Southern California Republican Women and Men and help elect more republicans this November!

U.S. Internet Content Censored by Putin?

Last month we noted here that traffic to this site from Ukraine, which for years had been second only to that from the United States, had fallen off precipitously. (See Iron Firewall Descends on Ukraine).
Now Gordon Crovitz of the Wall Street Journal describes the brave new world we will be entering if the Obama administration's plan to cede control of the basic address book of the Internet to foreign governments is allowed to go through. Unfriendly foreign governments may be able to restrict what content is available not only to their own people, but even to Americans.
Vladimir Putin has already seized control of the domains within his empire, requiring registration, licensing and censorship compliance for all sites of any significance. He would love to extend the reach of that control.
Will we surrender that easily?

Read the complete article at The Wall Street Journal.

Bill's Bills May 2014

By William Saracino
[Published in the May newsletter of the Southern California Rebublican Women and Men]
Ah yes, it’s springtime and a young man’s fancy turns to…well…it’s baseball in the old saying, but if the young man – or woman – is a Democrat legislator in California their fancy turns to running our once golden state further into the ground. The imagination of liberals in Sacramento on ways to destroy our state is amazing. Here for your dining and dancing pleasure are a few recent examples.
SB 1021 by Wolk of Davis. The “split roll” concept – allowing local governments to tax “business property” at a higher rate than residential. Definitions are loose of what is and isn’t business or residential, and the bill allows double tax increases by permitting both a parcel tax based upon use as well as a parcel tax based upon square footage, thereby allowing a district to impose layers of taxes. Should be titled the “run even more business out of California” act.
AB 2416 by Stone of Scotts Valley. This bill would cripple California businesses by allowing any employee, governmental agency, or anyone “authorized by the employee to act on the employee’s behalf” to record super priority liens on an employer’s real property or any property where an employee “performed work” for an alleged, yet unproven, wage claim.This bill would severely disrupt commercial and personal real estate markets in this state as AB 2416 would allow a wage lien to take precedence over almost all other liens or judgments.
SB 1381 by Evans of Santa Rosa forces farmers and food companies to implement costly new labeling, packaging, distribution and recordkeeping for genetically engineered food products sold in California, adding significantly to the cost of food for Californians. The bill also includes a private right of action, (also known as the “bounty hunter provision”) which further raises the specter of liability issues, adding to the cost of compliance for farmers, grocers and food manufacturers.
The bounty hunter lawsuit provision in SB 1381 will allow trial lawyers to file predatory lawsuits against family farmers, small grocery stores, food producers and practically everyone associated with the food distribution chain. This provision closely mirrors Proposition 65, which spawned numerous lawsuits that resulted mostly in settlements benefiting litigators. There is no reason to think that the same thing won’t happen again under SB 1381. Bounty hunter provisions cost the business community millions of dollars defending baseless suits when those resources would be better spent on research and development, expansions and employee compensation or benefits.
Whatever your view of GMO, California citizens already decided this issue when they voted to reject Proposition 37 in 2012. That proposition was very similar in content and intent to SB 1381.
And getting away from the bill mill for a moment, you may have noticed a lot of happy talk recently about California’s fiscal situation. The smiles were brought on by a “balanced budget”. Unmentioned is that the budget is “balanced” by borrowing $500 million from a “cap and trade” carbon reduction special fund. Sort of like “balancing” your VISA card debt by paying it with your Mastercard.
Take a look behind the happy talk and you'll see a $330 billion skyline of other liabilities threatening the state's financial health. It includes $80 billion needed to cover teachers' pensions and $64 billion to pay for state workers' health care in retirement -- two particularly troublesome liabilities because the state isn't even making the minimum payments
As a result -- similar to the debt of a homeowner who fails to make regular mortgage payments -- California's liabilities keep growing. For example, the money needed to fully fund the California State Teachers' Retirement System balloons by $22 million a day, or about $8 billion a year, financial analysts estimate.
According to the non—patisan Legislative Analysts Office, the state should first address the $80 billion shortfall in the teachers' retirement system, a debt that could cost the state, teachers and school districts a combined $5 billion a year to resolve over 30 years. Without changes, the system serving 868,000 members is projected to run out of money by 2046.
Paying down the $64.6 billion shortfall in health benefits for 277,000 retired state employees and their dependents should come next. That could cost the state $1.8 billion a year over 30 years, the analyst said, but getting started sooner would dramatically reduce costs over the long run.
Pardon me boy, is that the Jerry Brown Choo Choo? According to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, the estimated cost of building the 114-mile “bullet-train” route linking Fresno and Bakersfield has gone up $940 million — from $6.19 billion to $7.13 billion. That’s worrisome enough. But what makes it worse is that state officials allegedly didn’t want this 15 percent increase to be made public. I know that shocks you as much as it did me…ahem.
URS Corp. — the San Francisco engineering firm hired to determine the updated cost — reportedly complained in March that it had been “instructed” by the authority to have its numbers be in line with what was projected in the bullet train’s 2012 business plan. URS refused in a carefully worded message that clearly implied the authority wanted it to violate state ethical guidelines for licensed professionals.
Authority officials deny wrongdoing. But after years of deceptive projections and misleading rhetoric, it’s easy to believe they would pressure a consultant to avoid an embarrassing headline.
Are you angry enough now? Well don’t just sit there and stew – come to the next SCRWM meeting and find out how to elect more Republicans to the legislature and end this nonsense. See you there!

California’s Golden Goose Getting Throttled

[Published in the May newsletter of the Southern California Rebublican Women and Men as the 'President’s Message']
We are honored to have as our featured speaker for May 24 Stephen Frank, political consultant and editor of California Political News and Views (
As our once Golden state continues to bleed entrepreneurs, productive citizens, large businesses like Toyota and small businesses too numerous to count, Frank is one of the courageous and persistent individuals who keep us informed and educated in ways not otherwise available. As is stated on the About page of the site: ‘The purpose of the CPNV is to provide information the mainstream media either downplays, misleads or denies existing.’

In case you’ve been asleep for 30 years, California’s economy is not what it used to be. A generation ago, California had the sixth most productive economy in the world as compared to other nation states. That position has slipped to ninth, and for anyone with an inkling of knowledge of economics and the indispensibility of free markets, it’s not difficult to understand why.
California state income taxes are the highest in the nation, topping out at 13.3% (on top of federal income tax rates). After income is earned, it is taxed at the checkout stand with sales taxes ranging from 7.5% to 10%. The corporate income tax rate – 8.84% -- is the 5th highest in the nation, while the $800/year business tax, imposed without regard to profits or losses, kills companies in their cradles. Professional atheletes such as DeMarcus Cousins of the NBA comtemplate the half-million extra tax dollars it costs him every year to play for a California team instead of being traded – or moving the whole team – somewhere else, say, Seattle.
That’s the tip of the tax iceberg. Here’s a tip of the results iceberg: Golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson bug out. Bank of America and Wells Fargo lay off California workers. Mattel ships 100 jobs from El Segundo to New York. Campbell Soup closes its oldest facility in the country and shifts production to North Carolina, Ohio and … drumroll please … Texas. Boeing announces it is laying off 1,000 workers at its Long Beach facility in 2015. Apple Inc. expands domestic manufacturing…everywhere but California. Raytheon pulls out of El Segundo for…Texas.
Not all businesses are leaving for other states. Superior Industries of the San Fernando Valley relocated to Chihuahua Mexico. Apparently a nation under siege from drug cartel wars is a more hospitable place for business than California. Low hourly wages alone cannot explain dumping some of the most productive workers in the world; the excessive costs of employing Californians over and above their wages and salaries has to be recognized.
In all, between 2011 and 2012 Bloomberg estimates a loss of 73,000 businesses in California, a 5.2% drop. The tax and regulatory environment has not improved since then, so there’s little reason to expect change for the better.
All these businesses leaving California leaves California with one of the highest unemployment and poverty rates in a nation with an already abysmal average, thanks to the most anemic recovery in 50 years fostered by unprecedented hostility to wealth creation and entrepreneurship emanating from our nation’s capital. The unemployment rate might be higher except that thousands of productive, employable people are leaving the state along with those thousands of businesses, for greater opportunity elsewhere.
And the taxes keep coming. Proposition 30, Assembly Bills (AB) 8 and 241, and Senate bills 622, 782, 768 and many more (see Bill’s Bills) continue to pile taxes upon taxes.
Oh, and did I mention public employee pension liabilities, the budget deficit, and our children and future citizens held hostage to the most powerful syndicate in the state? Sorry, I’m out of room here.
So are we doomed?
We still have Proposition 13, in letter and in spirit. And there is growing opposition to increased taxes in places that are not Republican strongholds. Richmond is 26% black and voted 67% against Proposition 30, as did 77% of the residents of El Monte, which is 69% Hispanic. Proposition A was defeated in the City of Los Angeles.
These are the small seeds we have to cultivate, which points up our failing and our challenge as Republicans: to reach out and recruit beyond our traditional base into the evolving demographics of our once and future great state.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Lift the Campaign Finance Restrictions

Well-meaning people often support campaign finance law under the tacit acceptance of idea that money is the root of all evil. Such people might be advised to read Ayn Rand's devastating critique of this idea or Howard Hyde's What the Heck IS Money Anyway?.

Some readers may say that that's all well and good for commerce, but surely money is bad for politics. But the attempt to remove money from politics has backfired, producing more corruption, not less. As David Brooks of the New York Times has observed, "campaign finance laws weren’t merely designed to take money out of politics; they were designed to protect incumbents from political defeat" and "There will always be money in politics; it’s a pipe dream to think otherwise."
Now a report by the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) details the trends since the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United case of at least 13 states raising limits on campaign contributions. Contrary to some expectations, this is leading to MORE competitive races, GREATER accountability and LESS corruption, particularly as measured by criminal convictions.
Under individual campaign contribution limits, a challenger either has to be independently wealthy or has to have a broad-based donor network in place. The option of getting the backing of a few wealthy individuals is closed to the less affluent and/or less established and connected candidate, regardless of his or her other qualifications for the office. This has not leveled the playing field. Time to reconsider.

Read the complete article at The Wall Street Journal.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

If Congress Wrote the 10 Commandments

If Congress were charged to write the fundamental laws governing society from a blank slate, it might begin something like the following:
First a committee would be formed. Then subcommittees for each of the 10 vital areas would be spawned. Months of hearings and testimony, debate and arguments would go by until finally one day the first subcommittee would put its proposal on the table: Thou Shalt Not Murder. Immediately, the proposition is declared to be too simplistic (for the lawyers) and too complicated for the average citizen to understand and therefore requiring a transition period to be postponed to some dates in the future, at least past the next election year. Then a rival caucus would begin proposing amendments and addendums (addendi?).
For example, since data clearly show that most men convicted of murder were not beneficiaries of any school breakfast program, it is argued that the bill must include an expansion of a national school breakfast program to ensure adequate nutrition for kids who might otherwise grow up to become murderers. When it is pointed out that many kids do not partake of the school breakfast program because their parents have already fed them at home, and that eating a second breakfast at school is contributing to the national obesity crisis, demands are raised for expansion of the anti-obesity crisis task force, as well as additional funding for school counselors and other unionized staff to monitor every child's caloric intake.

It would be inhumane to enforce a simplistic ban on murder when guns are so cheap and plentiful in legal markets and depictions of violence abound on television and in the movies. So the bill begins to fatten up with additional regulations of firearms and a special role for the federal communications commission, to fine entertainment companies whose audiences are determined to be contain disproportionate numbers of persons at risk of becoming murderers. Quotas are established prohibiting the number of convictions for murder to exceed the percentage of the population represented by the defendant's race, ethnic group, sexual preference or other minority status. No such quotas will apply to registered Republicans of any race, ethnicity or sexual preference.
From there all manner of prohibitions, taxes (that are denied to be taxes for political purposes but which are celebrated as taxes for constitutional purposes), penalties, fines, special exemptions, provisions for the president to alter the law by executive decree or selectively enforce its provisions, generate over 1000 pages of legalese. The original phrase "Thou Shalt Not Murder" is replaced by the much improved: "It shall henceforth be unlawful for one human being of legally responsible status to unlawfully terminate the life of another human being of legally viable status, subject to the terms, conditions and provisions herein contained".
Anyone opposed to the law as written is publicly smeared with the label 'Pro-Murder'.
Then the second subcommittee presents its proposed text: Thou Shalt Not Steal.

The Unholy Trinity of Public Sector Unions, Environmentalists, and Wall Street

Ed Ring of Union Watch ('A project of the California Policy Center') writes of the collusion of three unlikely allies creating a moral hazard to the fiscal health of the state of California.
Unions want jobs for their members; fair enough. But environmentalists won't permit any big-ticket public works projects to go through without their approval. In fact, the environmentalists to a degree serve as a check on runaway union demands for budget-busting above-market wages and benefits. But rather than fight the environmentalists, the unions tend to throw their weight behind the projects that the environmentalists prefer, like the Bullet Train to Nowhere and the Delta tunnel.

Meanwhile, Wall Street investment firms get to underwrite the bond issues for the projects that please the environmentalists and the unions, regardless of their impact on less well politically connected Californians, such as the bulk of the taxpayers.
And their buddies the monetary authorities have every incentive to keep the asset bubbles inflated, failing which the bankruptcy of the public employee pension funds would be exposed.

Read the complete article at

Friday, May 09, 2014

The Tarnished Brass State

Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the folks who brought us and continue to defend Proposition 13, writes of our less-than golden state degenerating into a corrupt, crony-socialist web of privileges and prejudices.

Hot, sexy and 'green' companies and industries like Hollywood, Tesla (electric cars) and SpaceX (privately-funded space travel) are targeted for special subsidies and tax breaks while ordinary businesses like hardware stores and auto shops are left picking up the tab. The moral hazards engendered by this system have claimed, among other 'victims', three state senators under indictment for extracurricular earnings.

Not all unfavored businesses are willing or able to just take it. Toyota is the latest high-profile exodus case, but California has been bleeding entrepreneurs, productive citizens and businesses large and small for years now, leading the nation in decline. From being the sixth most productive economy in the world as measured against other nation states a generation ago, California has dwindled to ninth and may be expect to continue to slip.

Still, perhaps there could be a silver lining. If rank-and-file Democrats like the idea of tax breaks for any reason, how hard should it be to sell the idea of universal tax breaks, a level playing field for all without privilege or prejudice?

Or am I just California dreaming?

Read the complete article at California Political Review.

Ukraine, Taxes and the IMF

Chriss Street points out a little-discussed dimension of the crisis in Ukraine: taxes imposed by non-democratic foreign entities.
The International Monetary Fund or IMF is not a product of the free market, taking deposits from voluntary customers and lending to private entities on the basis of creditworthiness. Rather, it is a creature of western governments, funded by taxes that fall on individuals involuntarily and lending to governments, i.e. local and regional monopolists of the use of force. Client's eligibility for loans is generally enhanced the worse economic shape the country is in. Loans are made less on the basis of prospects of repayment than in exchange for political influence. Thus while the IMF is not a government agency, much less a democratically accountable one, much less accountable to the citizens of its client states, yet it frequently comes to dictate the fiscal and monetary policies of entire nations.

Does it surprise anyone that such schemes frequently result in outcomes that range from disappointing failure to catastrophic conflict?

Street also documents statistics of Ukraine's regional economic divisions, its endemic corruption and its strategic importance to Russia as a buffer zone against historical adversaries.

Read the complete article at

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Top 10 Posts for the Past 30 Days

Here below are the Top 10 most popular articles viewed on in the past 30 days:

#10: "Why Government Interference in Markets Always Fails"
Few economists have illustrated as plainly and logically as Ludwig von Mises why price controls (and by extension, all types of interventions in free markets) don't work, never achieve their stated goals. For this reason we present here an excerpt from the chapter 'Interventionism' from his book 'Economic Policy'

#9: "Health Care a Human Right?"
A moral obligation to help the less fortunate does not justify massive transfers of power and money to a privileged and unaccountable Washington D.C. bureacracy.
See also: "Post-Obamacare Reform"
Obamacare is now a dead letter. Here is a detailed, incremental health care policy reform proposal.

#8: "Why be a Republican?"
Many people who see clearly the anti-constitutional and socialist path of destruction that our generation’s Democratic Party is taking us down, nonetheless are often reluctant to identify themselves as Republicans, much less get involved in Republican political organizations. Why should they?

#7: "Nothing New Under the Sun"
Living in America in 2014 we have a tendency to flatter ourselves into believing that we are so much more sophisticated and intelligent than our forebears because we can download an app to our iPhone, but the truth is that most of our brilliant new original ideas are nothing more than a rehash of things that have been thought of and worked out many times over and in many nations throughout history.

#6: "Libertarianism and Republicans"
Is the rise of the international Libertarian movement and the Liberty Caucus a good or bad thing for Americans in general and Republicans in particular? Just what is Libertarianism? Where does it come from? What does it mean?
See also: "What is Capitalism?"
A working definition of Capitalism, to counter the popular misconceptions about exploitation of the poor and privileges for the rich.

#5: "Takeaways from CPAC"
Highlights from one couple's experience attending the Conservative Political Action Conference, March 6-8 2014

#4: "Campaign Finance Regulation Lightens"
Implications of the April 2 McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision. Nancy Pelosi shrieks "Existential Threat!" Clarence Thomas says the decision didn't go far enough in lifting restrictions on political speech.

#3: "President of Southern California Republican Women and Men"
Incoming 2014 President Howard Hyde delivers his inaugural message to members, guests and newsletter subscribers.
See also:

#2: Iron Firewall Descends on Ukraine has long been especially popular with readers from Ukraine. But recently traffic from that beleaguered nation has gone silent.

#1: "The CPAC Experience"
Top tweets from the Conservative Political Action Conference from the editor.

If you found this article valuable, consider making a donation of $1 today to encourage more work like it. Visit our Donate Page or click:

Top Posts of All Time

Here below are the Top 9 most popular articles posted on since its inception in 2006:

#9: "Nation Building in Iraq 10 Years On"
How come no one in the Bush administration ever proposed a Capitalist model for Iraq's petroleum industry?

#8: "Milton Friedman on Socialized Medicine"
With your Obamacare debate, get some wisdom from one of the greatest economists of the 20th century

#7: "121 Reasons to Reject Obama-Reid-PelosiCare"
Written in 2009 before the PPACA was passed, this pamphlet still encapsulates the essential facts, true today as they were then, about Obamacare: Unnecessary, Destructive, Doomed to Failure.
See also: "Pull the Plug on Obamacare"
100-page common-sense citizen pamphlet on how Obamacare was sold on false premises, is accomplishing the opposite of its advertized promises, and what we should do instead.

#6: "Five Steps to Immigration Reform"
A simple, straighforward proposal: Legalize Capitalism, Elevate Citizenship, Liberalize the quotas, Document the Undocumented and Isolate the criminals.
See also: "Illegal Immigration, 1806 -2006"
A 200-year review of the American experience with unlawful migration, squatters and the Homestead Act

#5: "Why Government Interference in Markets Always Fails"
Few economists have illustrated as plainly and logically as Ludwig von Mises why price controls (and by extension, all types of interventions in free markets) don't work, never achieve their stated goals. For this reason we present here an excerpt from the chapter 'Interventionism' from his book 'Economic Policy'

#4: "Nothing To Do About Jobs"
The one thing the government hasn't tried for 3 [now 5] years is to get out of the way.

#3: "Unemployed College Grads of the World, Unite!"
According to Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius, “The labor force participation rates of college graduates have actually fallen by more than those of workers without a high school education…the growth in the absolute number of employed college graduates has been nowhere near enough to offset the increase in the size of the college-educated population.”

#2: "What is Capitalism?"
A working definition of Capitalism, to counter the popular misconceptions about exploitation of the poor and privileges for the rich.

#1: "Books on Capitalism and economics"
A Capitalist Bibliography: The Top Ten Easy-to-Read popular expositions on economics and capitalism; The Top Ten Hardcore Scholarly Treatises on economics; The Top Five Most Dangerous Anti-capitalist Rants; Other Books of Interest

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