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Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Why the US is moving toward socialism

The Week suggests three reasons:
The question, then, is whether or not capitalism seems to be improving American lives. If so, it'll remain dominant. If not, alternatives will look increasingly attractive. Here are three pieces of evidence that the capitalist system in America is, indeed, broken:

1. Leaders are paving the way for a second massive economic crisis within a generation.

Regulators are starting to ease the rules put in place after the economic meltdown that led to the Great Recession a decade ago. The Fed, for example, wants to loosen requirements for big banks to have plans in place to close in an emergency without requiring a government bailout. Congress and regulators are making it easier for those same banks to make the kinds of high-risk loans that led to the last economic disaster. The government last year rolled back the Dodd-Frank law that enshrined many economic protections into law.

2. It is becoming more and more difficult for the average American to live life sustainably.

3. The party of capitalism put Donald Trump in the White House.
All three reasons are legitimate, though not as significant as two additional reasons. The first is that there are now tens of millions of US citizens from nations with strong socialist traditions. For example, two of the three major Mexican parties are members of the Socialist International.

The second is that the media is dominated by individuals whose politics range the gamut from Marxian to Trotksyite.

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96 Comments:

Blogger Giraffe April 09, 2019 2:02 PM  

6. Vladimir Lenin controls the schools.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 09, 2019 2:02 PM  

Losing Our True Selves, followed by
Why The US is Moving Toward Socialism. The first answers the second.

Blogger camcleat April 09, 2019 2:04 PM  

Dale Ahlquist, in his summaries of GK Chesterton's philosophies, argues that Socialism and Capitalism are two sides of the same coin. Together, they are both corruptions of the most moral system.

Distributism and its inherent decentralization and fundamental focus on family first, then community, is completely separate coin we need to oppose Socialism. Capitalism is not the answer.

But saying capitalism is as corrupt as Socialism or Marxism and that there exists at least one very good alternative causes "conservatives" heads to explode. There has been a lot of programming over the last 100 years that Capitalism is the moral opposite and moral superior of Socialism.

While I'd like to see the trend toward Socialism stopped, the return to pure Capitalism is just as unsustainable.

Ideal: stop Socialist spread, move toward Distributed ownership.

Blogger tuberman April 09, 2019 2:05 PM  



















First, the parasite Bankster Economy is not Capitalism, it feeds off of what's left of real Capitalism.

Blogger marco moltisanti April 09, 2019 2:08 PM  

So true about the paper Americans and how they've changed things. I think AOC has the potential to be a great leader...in Puerto Rico.

Blogger Stilicho April 09, 2019 2:15 PM  

Sat Cong

Blogger Daniel April 09, 2019 2:19 PM  

We're not moving toward Socialism. Socialism is moving toward us.

Blogger ZhukovG April 09, 2019 2:26 PM  

Given the looting of our economy by the financial class. I confess that I am not far from being willing to raise the 'Red Banner' myself.

But what of Italy, Vox? I know you would not place your family in a harms way if it can be avoided. Italy is quite socialist. Is it really so horrible?

Personally, I want Nationalism. If it comes with a single payer health care system; so be it.

Blogger DeepThought April 09, 2019 2:33 PM  

Mexicans are socialists. Period. Take Mexican immigration off the table and Socialism is dead in the US.

Blogger Scott Free April 09, 2019 2:36 PM  

The third is the public education system. Every teacher I ever met, from high school to college, pushed Socialist politics.

Blogger VFM Bear April 09, 2019 2:39 PM  

Or, as Dalrock likes to put it, weak mean are screwing feminism up.

Blogger Servant April 09, 2019 2:42 PM  

Where isall this capitalism we keep saying hasn't worked?

We don't have a capitalist system, the stock market is a giant scam, we allow people to enslave themselves through debt, education is little more than a cargo cult. We think smashing open the piggy bank and doing handouts will help? Can't wait. All the piggy banks are empty! We've been giving away money that doesn't exist for years. My dad, who could retire comfortably, exemplifies why this is going up in smoke: "i better get my social security i've been paying into it my whole life"

Blogger 1st Earl Hardwicke April 09, 2019 2:45 PM  

Too Big to Fail.

Why not Distributivism? Instead of outright socialism, leading to collectivism. Or outright capitalism to Anarcho-Capitalism. Or some other resolution of the (false)dichotomy?

Was looking a bit about G.K Chesterton, being in favour of Distributism. "3 Acres and a cow." So much food gets dumped on Africa or South America leading to explosive population growth.... Wildlife is pretty depleted in places.

I remember that picture of a church in Ethiopia I think, referenced somewhere on the blog. Surrounded by an Eden and then a desert.

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelphia April 09, 2019 2:48 PM  

The 2 reasons Vox Cites are indeed potential drivers of a move to socialism. Reason 1 from this week is plausible but the other two are suspect.

Meanwhile, there are also countervailing reasons why socialism won't take hold here, not necessarily in order of importance/significance"

1) Whites still account for 60% of the USA population, and though projections suggest Whites will becaome a minority by mid century, it will still be close to half.

2) Research shows that as generations pass, Hispanics tend to shed their identification with their original country and identify as Americans. In that case, even by mid century the combinations of whites-white hispanic will exceed 50%. And if we do manage to control immmigration, this identigy shedding wiil become more pronounced. No guarantees, of course, but a possibility.

3) Leftist autophagy, including the media marginalizing itself. Even if the wall never gets built, and even if Trump "fails" on the policy front, he will have done a great service to the nation by exposing the media for the whores that they are. So, yeah, they are Marian and Trotskyite, but they are heading to irrelevance, if not arrived at it.

4) Socialism is the USA will ONLY come through the Democrat Party, and fortunately their state and local power has been minimized. Victor Davis Hanson has chronicled how Obama effectively destroyed the Democrat party by making their national electoral success all about him.

5) The Democrate Party needs high net worth donors, and high net worth donors only come through capitalism.

There are other possible reason, but enough for now.

So is Socialism possible in the USA? I suppose anything is possible, but if you forced me to put down money, I'd bet "no." I might even take odds.

Blogger Robert What? April 09, 2019 2:56 PM  

There is another big reason the US is moving towards Socialism: Socialism is the means by which the lazy and unproductive gain wealth and power without having any accomplishments or having to work hard.

Blogger Nate April 09, 2019 3:06 PM  

also we shouldn't ignore the fact that some of the most egregiously evil acts of corporate history have taken place in the last 20 years. The Epi Pen fiasco and now the Insulin shortage.. these are both fake shortages that have been created at the cost of lives for the sake of profit and all of the corporate officers should be jailed for life.

Blogger allyn71 April 09, 2019 3:09 PM  

Need capital to have Capitalism

fiat currency =/= capital

We have Bankster ran Corporatism not Capitalism

Blogger Stilicho April 09, 2019 3:10 PM  

Capitalism cum capitalism has nothing to do with the banking/financial system. Capitalism describes an economic system which allows the pooling of resources to accomplish production and trade. Think of a simple stock company or trading joint venture.

The banking system has fed off of the capitalist structure as a parasite from the beginning. With the unmooring of fiat currency from any meaningful restraint (such as gold, or even direct govt issuance), the financial parasite has grown to the point where 35% of all profit generated by productive activity is siphoned off into the pockets of the banksters.

This is unsustainable and it is only a matter of time until the parasite kills the host. Married to a corrupt capitalism which is best described as crony capitalism and the death throes promise to be spectacular.

*our crony capitalism very closely resembles socialism except that the state doesn't choose who gets to own/control the means of production and finance, rather those who own the means are are able to pay politicians to secure their positions and prevent competition. It is the antithesis of free enterprise and the end result is practically indistinguishable from socialism.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 09, 2019 3:13 PM  

tuberman wrote:First, the parasite Bankster Economy is not Capitalism, it feeds off of what's left of real Capitalism.

What is capitalism?

Our current system is probably closest to what Mussolini called Fascism, with the ruling class in government and business conspiring together.

Socialism and ``capitalism,'' as we practice capitalism here and now, are just different names for similar totalitarianism.

The ideal most people think of when they say ``capitalism'' is probably closer to Chesterton's distributism than to our current state.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother April 09, 2019 3:14 PM  

Do the gammas who have been called out and banned by name realize that their comments are automatically deleted? Never read, just deleted. I'm not sure why they keep commenting.

Sad, really.

Blogger Manuel April 09, 2019 3:15 PM  

Another reason: All the teachers from K through University are leftists.

Blogger Alexander April 09, 2019 3:16 PM  

The steve sailer rule: any article about change in the west should first be met by ctrl-f "immig"

The honesty of the article can thus be immediately accessed.

Blogger Crew April 09, 2019 3:23 PM  

And with people like Bryan Caplan pushing open borders it seems like it is going to hasten:

http://www.unz.com/isteve/its-a-comic-book/

Blogger Kuraudo April 09, 2019 3:45 PM  

That is an excellent rule.

Blogger Johnny April 09, 2019 3:51 PM  

For the last several decades there has been a gradual but ongoing increase in wealth in the richest few at the top. Naturally this produces an incentive for income redistribution of some type. Frequently that is what people have in mind when they think about socialism. The rest is detail they would just as soon not bother with.

A drift toward socialism in our current society will by its very nature be an expanding of government power, because if things are not marketed by market forces, something else has to market them. And that something else will be government.

Given the character of our current government, there is zero chance that an expansion of its role will be for the better, and a significant chance that it will be a calamity.

Blogger Jeroth April 09, 2019 3:51 PM  

Meanwhile the GOP is making "America will never be a socialist country!" their battle cry. Talk about a top indicator.

Blogger Uncle Maffoo April 09, 2019 3:53 PM  

0. Women got the franchise and swapped husbands for government.

Blogger Sorcerygod [www.future.code.blog] April 09, 2019 3:54 PM  

It all depends on National Strength. Mexico is poor, so gimmedats are more popular than the lower taxes that would result otherwise. Banging the pinata is ever so much more fun than grubbing for grasshoppers for your dinner. In addition [...] Click HERE to continue

Blogger Don't Call Me Len April 09, 2019 4:02 PM  

I do have to give the PTB a tiny bit of credit: they've learned how to kick the can farther than before. Gging by the previous history of business cycle, we should have had a serious recession/contraction 'round about 2016-17, but we didn't.

Of course the post-2008 "recovery" was a zombie march as opposed to an actual recovery, so that has something to do with it.

Blogger Longtime Lurker April 09, 2019 4:05 PM  

The US is moving toward bankruptcy.

Blogger Ted Plank April 09, 2019 4:06 PM  

OT: Any thoughts, Vox, on NYC / Bill De Blasio mandating MMR vaccines in four zip codes? This seems like a major ramping up of totalitarianism.

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/04/09/nyc-health-emergency-measles/?fbclid=IwAR3rQvH_25F4sXQfO_Xi14DLUOJ50sIi2KdoWbIaonbmgvGuWEhSdeWOyD4

Blogger Lance E April 09, 2019 4:14 PM  

To every media hack, "capitalism" is a "system" and primarily involves loosening banking regulations - the same regulations that nearly every Republican voter is in favor of keeping or even tightening.

They really want us to believe that the neoliberal world order is exactly the same thing as private property.

Blogger Akulkis April 09, 2019 4:14 PM  

...so then it's not crony capitalism; it's crony socialism.

Yes, the distinction is important --it takes the wind out the socialist's sails.

Blogger Cloudbuster April 09, 2019 4:16 PM  

The data indicates that #2 isn't true. At least, not obviously true:

https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/historical-poverty-people.html

Blogger James Dixon April 09, 2019 4:28 PM  

> The third is the public education system. Every teacher I ever met, from high school to college, pushed Socialist politics.

Absolutely, and this is what's given us the widespread support of socialism amongst college graduates.

> the stock market is a giant scam

No more so than it's ever been. Even the bubble we're in right now is only about a 30% overvalued by historical standards. That pales in comparison to the dot com era. The fact that stock valuations have little relationship to historical standards of value does not a scam make.

> The Epi Pen fiasco and now the Insulin shortage.. these are both fake shortages that have been created at the cost of lives for the sake of profit and all of the corporate officers should be jailed for life.

You'll get no argument from me. Additionally, all the patents of the relevant companies should be voided and released to the public domain.

> Of course the post-2008 "recovery" was a zombie march as opposed to an actual recovery, so that has something to do with it.

You think? The only thing that improved under Obama was the stock market. Labor participation stagnated and food stamp usage skyrocketed. Those have slowly reversed under Trump.

Blogger Kat April 09, 2019 4:34 PM  

This is why I keep trying to share Tucker Carlson. People's idea of capitalism is Ben Shapiro essentially saying "Your well-being doesn't matter, and you have to do whatever the market says."

And then Tucker comes along says "Yeah, no that's a terrible idea" and proceeds to outline a vision of an economic system where the system serves the people and not visa versa. He's not talking about socialism, but he is talking about a sort of Trumpian economics of putting your own people to work and trying to build stable communities. If we can get this idea out there - that you can be and should want to be something more than a number in a system, as you'd be in either socialism or banker controlled capitalism, then I think that could be compelling. In the previous post folks were saying that Gen Z has an appreciation for old America. What could be more old America than tearing down the walmarts and building a dozen general stores in their place?

Blogger DJ | AMDG April 09, 2019 4:39 PM  

I find this conversation very interesting. I have a somewhat on topic question. I’m told that the healthcare industry is one area of the economy that is “doing great,” even though I personally am tied to a portion of it and believe otherwise. In much of the discussion related to “the economy” the terms production or productivity or productive are used when speaking of economic “health.”

Is the “healthcare” industry in whatever form, a “productive” industry? Or is it not that black and white?

For example, most would say “government” is not a productive industry especially in comparison to say steel fabrication. However, I know enough to know that government CAN be productive when it is building certain public infrastructure.

Anonymous Anonymous April 09, 2019 4:43 PM  

The USA is more socialist than Iran.

Blogger DJ | AMDG April 09, 2019 4:48 PM  

“Socialism is the USA will ONLY come through the Democrat Party, and fortunately their state and local power has been minimized. Victor Davis Hanson has chronicled how Obama effectively destroyed the Democrat party by making their national electoral success all about him.”

This seems a bit naive to me. When I think of socialism I think in terms of government spending on and management of industries and activities which could easily be done by non-governmental organizations.

It’s my understanding that the largest monetary and management increases by government in healthcare (Medicare Part D), education (No Child Left Behind), and Transportation (TSA-USDOT), all happened under a GOP led Bush family administered Fed.

Blogger Yordan Yordanov April 09, 2019 4:49 PM  

The fact that Oswald Spengler not only predicted our current political trend, but depicted it as a banal repetition of history, is saddening. Now he wasn't 100% right on the details, but his prediction of the masses calling upon a "Caesar" to care for them as if they were children is getting pretty spot on. Which is a pity, since he paints a much grimmer picture of the future, than Vox or Owen do.

Blogger widlast washere April 09, 2019 4:50 PM  

Capitalism - we should try it some time.

Socialism is a wonderful notion for those who have never actually had to live under socialism (otherwise known as abject poverty).

Blogger VD April 09, 2019 5:14 PM  

Any thoughts, Vox, on NYC / Bill De Blasio mandating MMR vaccines in four zip codes?

None at all. I don't give a damn what happens in New York City.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 09, 2019 5:40 PM  

widlast washere wrote:Capitalism - we should try it some time.

Most folks think capitalism is what we have now. No wonder they don't like capitalism and want something else. Unfortunately, socialism is not significantly different from what we have now.

Yes, socialism is a disaster, but no, ``capitalism'' isn't an alternative to it.
Yes, ``capitalism'' is a disaster, but no, socialism isn't an alternative to it.

Anonymous Anonymous April 09, 2019 5:53 PM  

Its not socialism its compassionate capitalism.

Classical music is surely a transcendence from the base animal world. And yet EVERY classical I click on is nature. Youtube, all of them, they own this from the bottom up. Like the special world is the animal world. Its all lies.

But Im it, drunken, selfish, idiot. But that music is amazing. OB plays stuff and it like creation and its right.

Blogger eclecticme April 09, 2019 5:55 PM  

@8. ZhukovG April 09, 2019 2:26 PM
Given the looting of our economy by the financial class. I confess that I am not far from being willing to raise the 'Red Banner' myself.
...
Personally, I want Nationalism. If it comes with a single payer health care system; so be it.


Those are my gut thoughts as well. My only good thought about Obama being elected was that as a liberal he might throw banksters in jail. He ended up being worse than GWB in that regard, which is hard to do. I would like to see the big financial institutions broken so they could be allowed to fail. That never seems to happen.

Three decades ago I was waiting for the ferry in Brindisi IT. The social cohesion or the vibes struck me like 1900 America. Very nice. The town square was decorated with flags for an upcoming festival. They were hammer and sickle flags. The town govt was communist. WTF? That feeling never left me. I bought a music box there and still have it. It plays The Internationale.

I think the 'socialism' of the midwest was far different from the nation wide fake socialism of AOC and friends. I noted how the Dems always threatened to eat the rich but never following through. Funny how that works. Obama said that re-invoking Glass-Steagall "would be going too far." HSBC bank officers were never even prosecuted. Funny how that works. The US Treasury Dept acts to protect Wall St. from US citizens and the law.

NNT and others have noted that many things do not scale up well. Socialism is one of them. It ends up with central control from DC according to laws drafted by lobbyists and regs drafted by unelected govt employees for life.

SJWs like national health care, take Norway for example. MN and Norway have around 5 million people each. I say fine. Give MN total control over health care like Norway and see what happens. SJWs don't want that and we end up with Obamacare.

Mark Steyn wrote a brilliant piece on national health care not scaling up.
https://www.ocregister.com/2012/07/08/mark-steyn-lights-out-for-us-style-big-government/



Blogger Didas Kalos April 09, 2019 6:04 PM  

@1 Giraffe. 7, 8, 9. V. Lenin controls the schools. 10-14 Pastors in this country are clueless about the Bible and it's condemnation of communism in all it's various forms.

Blogger eclecticme April 09, 2019 6:11 PM  

@16. Nate April 09, 2019 3:06 PM
also we shouldn't ignore the fact that some of the most egregiously evil acts of corporate history have taken place in the last 20 years. The Epi Pen fiasco and now the Insulin shortage.. these are both fake shortages that have been created at the cost of lives for the sake of profit and all of the corporate officers should be jailed for life.


IMO the financial melt down of 2008 was much more evil. If 'capitalism' was in place the big Wall St. firms would have collapsed and exited the gene pool. E.g. the MSM focused on bailout money to AIG, not mentioning that the money immediately went out the back door mostly to Goldman Sachs.

A liberal relative was complaining about the $600 epipens (per pair). I smelled the stench of govt so I looked. The epipen CEO was a US senator's daughter, who employed armies of lobbyists and donated boatloads of money to congress and $250K to the Clinton Foundation.

Two generic epipen equivalents were stuck in the FDA awaiting more data and further review. The epipen contents were isolated 100 years ago. Syringes are not new. Meanwhile, in Canada, generic epipens were available over the counter with no doctor Rx required. We still do not have that in the US. Funny how that was not pushed, huh?

Here is my tiny contribution to control healthcare costs. Let states OK medical devices etc. Maybe only if they are OKed in Canada or have the EU CE mark. No more epipen fiascos.

And don't get me started on the CPAP racket.

Blogger eclecticme April 09, 2019 6:19 PM  

@36. DJ | AMDG April 09, 2019 4:39 PM

I find this conversation very interesting. I have a somewhat on topic question. I’m told that the healthcare industry is one area of the economy that is “doing great,” even though I personally am tied to a portion of it and believe otherwise. In much of the discussion related to “the economy” the terms production or productivity or productive are used when speaking of economic “health.”


People IN the healthcare industry are doing well. The best place to work is to have a govt job or a govt protected job. These people are protected from foreign made goods or H-1B foreigners imported into the US, as they lack govt enforced credentials. A US RN or MD is protected, at least for several years, from imported RNs or MDs. A Russian MD is US janitor.

Anonymous Anonymous April 09, 2019 6:37 PM  

Owen Benjamin nails it. Its really depressing. End of his last livestream. Never earned my man badge. Has to be earned.

Socialism breeds weak people, breeds slaves. I'm helping the bad plan.

Blogger Skyler the Weird April 09, 2019 7:00 PM  

Why ask why? MPAI

Blogger Gen. Kong April 09, 2019 7:21 PM  

6. Vladimir Lenin controls the schools.

They might not be as abominable as they are if he actually were controlling them. Nevertheless it was his successor (Uncle Yusif) who stated the true purpose and nature of public schools best:

"Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." -- Josef Stalin

How many years have VD (and many others before him) been telling folks to remove their kids from public edumacayshun now? Not only is is wall-to-wall SJW indoctrination, but flat out child abuse awa well (hint: (((fake news))) does no reporting on pedos operating in the gulags run by their allies in the NEA. They only report now and again on the pedos operating in Catholic schools). Yet the average idiot still thinks there's nothing wrong with sending the kids to such places.

So, we're now surprised at the result of decades-worth of targets being continually drawn upon white children, especially the boys?? Not only is history being systematically re-written but those who are now deemed as "edumacated" are utterly incapable of even grasping the concept of re-written history. (((Howard Zinn))) is just one example of how such lies are spread in every school system in Murika.

Blogger The Pitchfork Rebel April 09, 2019 7:29 PM  

I make a habit out of saying, "there is no such thing as capitalism", because there is not. There's no group that defines, admits or accredits the practice or practitioners. It is part Marxist invective and part a poor synonym for free markets, but I can't think of anything where there is a market free of regulation, certainly not of the Laissez-Faire nightmares offered by leftists.

@46, you are right.

In 2004-2005, I was a bank auditor for a "Big 4" concern. One day, I arrived at the now long gone client, to see most of the place in gleeful celebration. When I asked why everybody was so happy, my contact in internal audit told me to drop by her office @ 10:00. After she had me close the door, she revealed that the bank had received a good "CRA" score, what the CRA was how a good score "made sure Jesse Jackson wouldn't be on the front steps with a bull horn.

After I was there a while, I figured how the game was being played. Small banks all over the country, to avoid charges of discrimination, basically abandoned character, credit and capacity underwriting. This particular bank only kept 10-15% of the loans they wrote and they onl
y kept the best. Gresham's Law was in full force. The rest were going to the Chases and Wells, who every morning offered to buy loans.

Of course, I foolishly thought they had to be monitoring their counterparty performance-and that's when I learned about Fannie & Freddie and the misuse of math to mix trash and make it look like fertilizer. The Democrats viewed this wealth redistribution, and the GOP as magic dirt where home ownership would make enterprising citizens. Ironically George Bush of all people tried to pry open the GSE's and there's a indignant letter signed by high ranking Dems, opposing it.

Even then, this bank was subject to a myriad of regulations, both as a bank and a publicly traded corporation. The list of regulators was endless, as was the laws. The Fed, the OCC, state banking regulators, it went on and on.

Now if we must have banks, we need regulators to protect depositors, but we have regulators (like HUD) that money goes to minorities in the "proper" proportion.

The idea that they are operating free from regulation or if we just regulate some more, we can prevent busts, runs and the like is childish faith in government bordering on idolatry.

Dodd Frank is actually killing small community banks. In a world where there's just JPM Chase, Wells Fargo and a couple others, you almost guarantee that they will happily support regulation than decreases competition.

It's beyond evil.

Blogger Rhys April 09, 2019 7:53 PM  

Capitalism isn't great in itself, all I can say with confidence is that the price signalling system is a flawless way of allocating value where it properly belongs. But how does price signalling work in a debt society where people are actually buying products they can't afford? My guess that this breaks the price system completely and causes runaway inflation.

A socialist system would seem particularly appealing people who are used to the idea of buying into what they cannot afford. For kids raised by modern parents, many of whom have been using credit cards, mortgages, and car loans their entire lives, the idea of buying something you can't afford now, but paying it off over time, is probably completely acceptable. Would it be a surprise if someone who accepts this idea wants to apply it towards government programs?

When you combine this with all the previously mentioned factors, you basically have the perfect socialist storm.

Blogger Azimus April 09, 2019 7:54 PM  

The problem of capitalism isn't the poor, working class, middle class, or even millionaires. It is the billionaires that are fhe problem - Jeff Bezos, Oleg Deripaska, Muhammed bin Salman, George Soros. Their constant meddling and social engineering and paying demi-god w/everything from war to currencies of emerging economies to the tax code to spraying stuff in the sky to save us from the sun. I don't think we have an answer to them, or to the faceless corporations they wield to advantage. I think making corporate donations to charities or political campaigns illegal is a good start. Throwing out PPP's and all tax incentives for big corporations. Penalizing companies that make above a certain profit and pay below a certain wage (ie Amazon, Walmart)? Investigate and punish severely (as in jail time) price fixing and collusion. There's many things that could be tried but I'm sure I'm not the only American who feels like they're just treasing water and putting in 50-55hr weeks. At some point the dam will break and people will embrace the new thing, regardless of its inferiority to the old thing.

Blogger Jack (LJCSOGHMOMAS) April 09, 2019 7:56 PM  

We have a so-called right wing that has abandoned Christianity and embraced capitalism as its religion. Pray for us, St. Ayn Rand. Pray for us, St. Gordon Gekko. Pray for us, Judeo-Christ.

The great irony is that under capitalism we are ruled by an oligarchy. If we become socialist, we'll be ... ruled by the same oligarchy, only more so. Ain't dialectics grand?

Blogger English Tom April 09, 2019 8:50 PM  

@Ominous Cowherd

The correct term for what you described as Mussolini's system is Corporatism, and yes, it has infected the West.

Regarding the move to socialism in the US, the groundwork has been laid over many years, the media and especially academia. If it comes to the US, remember the tendency to overshoot, and while creating a beautiful rainbow coloured utopia, a Stalin may arise, and history will repeat itself.

Again!

Blogger English Tom April 09, 2019 8:53 PM  

@Johnny

Good point. Socialism means a highly centralised government. It doesn't take much for a highly centralised state structure to go to the extreme. George Orwell accurately described its insanity.

Blogger English Tom April 09, 2019 8:55 PM  

@Longtime Lurker

Re: bankruptcy

Absolutely agree. But it's not only the US.

Blogger tublecane April 09, 2019 9:02 PM  

"Socialism is God."

- Jim Jones, commie infiltrator

Blogger tublecane April 09, 2019 9:07 PM  

Socialism appeals to homegrown idiots like John Brennan, for instance, as a great, undefined thing into which they cram their hopes. Seriously, his explanation was that he didn't like the Way Things Were, and the communist party was...something else.

Things are usually crappy. That they can get crappier with your wishes granted oddly doesn't occur to many would-be agents of Change.

Blogger James Dixon April 09, 2019 9:41 PM  

> How many years have VD (and many others before him) been telling folks to remove their kids from public edumacayshun now?

Going on 20 or so now, I figure.

One of the reasons I married my wife is we agreed that no child of ours would be sent to the public school system. It turned out we never had any children, but if we had disagreed about that we would never have gotten married.

Blogger James Dixon April 09, 2019 9:48 PM  

> I don't think we have an answer to them, or to the faceless corporations they wield to advantage.

We've had the answer for a long time now. That's what the anti-trust laws are for. If you don't let companies get that big, you don't have such billionaires. And if governments weren't so powerful, they money wouldn't let them buy such favor. Big business and big government. A match made in Hades.

Blogger eclecticmn April 09, 2019 10:54 PM  

@ 51. The Pitchfork Rebel April 09, 2019 7:29 PM

I was reminded of Ayn Rand who pissed off many by saying that big business loved big govt as it helped to destroy smaller competitors. Dodd Frank is just one more example of this.

Blogger OGRE April 09, 2019 10:59 PM  

Capitalism is not identical to "private property and free markets." Those have been around in varying degrees long before Capitalism. The distinguishing feature of Capitalism is that the general norm is for some parties to a venture to provide the Capital and other parties to provide the Labor. i.e. the great majority of actors in an economy are employees of those that own capital. Our current system takes it even further and could properly be called Corporate Capitalism, for we have those that own the capital, those that control the capital, and those that provide the labor. It is this divorcing of ownership and control of productive capital from those who use the capital for production that breeds numerous destructive problems, not just economic but political and societal as well. This is in fact the system we've had for some 100+ years, and it is rapidly approaching its inevitable collapse.

Blogger Rex Little April 09, 2019 11:25 PM  

3. The party of capitalism put Donald Trump in the White House.

A. The party of capitalism? Trump ran as a Republican, didn't he?

B. In any case, the Republican Party didn't put Trump in the White House--more like the other way around. The Republican Establishment did everything it could to keep him out.

Blogger Gen. Kong April 09, 2019 11:41 PM  

The great irony is that under capitalism we are ruled by an oligarchy. If we become socialist, we'll be ... ruled by the same oligarchy, only more so. Ain't dialectics grand?

There's a nice little phrase for your description of how this flim-flam engineered by the usual suspects works: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss!

As the Occasional Cortex might screech: this time it will be socialist oilgarchs instead of capitalist oligarchs in charge!

... and the drooling morons will all whoop and holler in applause at the glorious "revolution".

Blogger Joe April 10, 2019 12:25 AM  

"This is why I keep trying to share Tucker Carlson. People's idea of capitalism is Ben Shapiro essentially saying "Your well-being doesn't matter, and you have to do whatever the market says."

That's how conservative talk radio hosts lost me nearly twenty years ago. When gas prices more than doubled, they essentially said "it's worth it or people wouldn't still be paying for it."

Blogger Irish Energy April 10, 2019 2:50 AM  

Bailing out banks is not capitalism

Blogger Harambe April 10, 2019 3:11 AM  

tuberman wrote:

First, the parasite Bankster Economy is not Capitalism, it feeds off of what's left of real Capitalism.





Whether it is true or not, this sounds exactly like HUR DUR THAT WASN'T REAL SOCIALISM. And is about as effective too.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine April 10, 2019 3:24 AM  

"The great irony is that under capitalism we are ruled by an oligarchy. If we become socialist, we'll be ... ruled by the same oligarchy, only more so. Ain't dialectics grand?"

Yep. There will be a scapegoat or a few, but it'll be mostly the same, only with us starving and even more vicious control by the oligarchy.

Blogger cisbio April 10, 2019 4:48 AM  

1) If tens of millions of US citizens of immigrant stock (beside the white folk, that is) have strong socialist traditions, it's probably because America made them that way.

2) The American MSM is dominated by capitalists - clearly. Just look at the bastards! AT&T, Disney, Fox. etc. Sumner Redstone is an obvious Dem supporter, but Marxist? They’re all fuzzy liberal, hooked on mammon. For the most part, the abiding message pumped out by Hollywood has always been individualism, not collectivism.

Blogger tublecane April 10, 2019 5:56 AM  

@63- You make capitalism synonymous with private speculation on secondary means of production and the existence of a proletariat. Which sufficiently distinguishes it from systems where wealth comes from direct ownership of primary production, e.g. homesteading, or owning laborers which you apply to primary means, as in slavery or serfdom.

I'm not sure your definition of Corporate Capitalism is what I might have in mind for our current system, which is something like halfway fascism. Belloc referred I think to the Servile State. It is well-described in Anthony Sutton's FDR and Wall Street.

Blogger James Dixon April 10, 2019 6:04 AM  

> The American MSM is dominated by capitalists...

Don't you mean (((capitalists)))?

> Sumner Redstone

Wikipedia: "born Sumner Murray Rothstein"

Blogger Blunt Force April 10, 2019 8:31 AM  

The Party of Zionism and disaffected Paulians put Trump in the Whitehouse. Now it becomes more apparent than ever the the Zionist and the Bolshevik Parties are working in tandem against US. The conundrum now is which way forward. Ultra-Nationalism ?

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 10, 2019 8:34 AM  

English Tom wrote:@Ominous Cowherd

The correct term for what you described as Mussolini's system is Corporatism, and yes, it has infected the West.


I guess you're right. Mussolini was a Fascist, and his economic system was Fascist Corporatism. The several oligarchies conspire together.

Harambe wrote:First, the parasite Bankster Economy is not Capitalism, it feeds off of what's left of real Capitalism.

Whether it is true or not, this sounds exactly like HUR DUR THAT WASN'T REAL SOCIALISM. And is about as effective too.


Confucius said that words matter, and it's important to call things what they are, and that things actually be what you call them. Rectification of names.

Infogalactic has a very libertarian definition of capitalism. Jerry Pournelle pointed out that truly free markets will deliver human flesh fresh every day.

Libertarian capitalism is a recipe for a demonic society ruled by oligarchy. Perhaps our current system really is capitalism?

All your life you've been told that socialism and our current system are diametrically opposed.
All your life you've been told that our current system is capitalism.
All your life you have seen that our current system is bad for your nation.

Should we be surprised if you favor socialism?

Blogger dc.sunsets April 10, 2019 8:35 AM  

(Facepalm.)
No one reads.

Socialism is the ownership of the means of production by the state. Fascism is ostensible private ownership of the means of production, but where the state actually directs what occurs.

You cannot allocate heterogeneous factors of production properly if you lack the price mechanism for doing it. No 5 year plan. No group of brilliant women with Ph.D.'s and J.D.'s sitting around a table to decide how much of each ingredient "should" be produced.

It's impossible. No amount of magical thinking can change this. No one apparently has ever read Leonard Reed's "I, Pencil" and thought about the consequences.

"Socialism" as discussed is quite literally the economic system of our cargo cult, that's all. It's an expression of magical thinking to the core, that we can "have it all" when our wise stewards take over all production and give us everything we wanted by stripping out the "waste" of profit.

Our current morass is just interlinked rent-seeking. It's what you should expect when "corporate persons" (entities that are BY DEFINITION without empathy or morality, just "can we make it look legal, or failing that, buy a change to the laws via campaign donations") are elevated to the highest power of the land. Positing "socialism" as a fix to this is laughable, it's exchanging political overlords for corporate overlords, and anyone with a neuron in his brain can see what will happen to the organizational chart.

It's a cycle.
We can't break it.
Collectively we're screwed.
Individually, we're tasked with doing the best we can given the environment in which we live.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 10, 2019 8:46 AM  

@61 Big business and big government. A match made in Hades.

Absolutely, James, but from where did this arise? To the best of my knowledge, aliens from the planet Xenon didn't land and place this yoke on us from above. A con game requires TWO parties' participation to exist.

We get the "government" (perhaps better, the "political economy") to which our fellowmen consent. At various times in the cycle they consent to different systems.

Americans alive today (esp. late Boomers) have lived in the best times of human history EVER. Their parents and grandparents labored, and we've enjoyed the fruits. We are all as the scions of billionaires: lazy, petulant, entitled and dissipative.

The DJIA added 20,000 points in the last ten years, during a resumption of the "PUT IT ALL ON THE MASTERCARD" economy. The interpretation of this cannot be more obvious. The missing datum is, "where's the credit line?" We don't know (and I'm damned sure I though we'd have hit it long ago, so what do I know?)

All these "-ism" arguments are funny. Irrelevant and funny.

I don't worry about the uber-rich. MOST of them will be jumping from balconies when this 40 year bubble finally bursts and stays popped. But the rabble will demand what it demands, and it looks to me like a modern French Terror will be the best scenario for which we can hope.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 10, 2019 9:05 AM  

dc.sunsets wrote:Socialism is the ownership of the means of production by the state. Fascism is ostensible private ownership of the means of production, but where the state actually directs what occurs.

Yes, socialism and our current system are different ways to central control. So much for ``socialism and capitalism are diametrically opposed.''

dc.sunsets wrote:You cannot allocate heterogeneous factors of production properly if you lack the price mechanism for doing it.

Yes, neither works. So much for ``socialism and capitalism are diametrically opposed.''

We're back to rectification of names: our current system isn't working for us, isn't the system we want at all. Since we pretend that socialism is its opposite, obviously we must switch to socialism.

Maybe if we say distributism is socialism, we can reshape the swing to socialism into a swing to something different?

Blogger James Dixon April 10, 2019 9:55 AM  

> You cannot allocate heterogeneous factors of production properly if you lack the price mechanism for doing it. No 5 year plan. No group of brilliant women with Ph.D.'s and J.D.'s sitting around a table to decide how much of each ingredient "should" be produced. It's impossible. No amount of magical thinking can change this. No one apparently has ever read Leonard Reed's "I, Pencil" and thought about the consequences.

https://mises.org/library/economic-calculation-socialist-commonwealth/html

> Absolutely, James, but from where did this arise?

From a Christian perspective, we're fallen humans in a fallen world and we have an adversary continually whispering misleading lies into our ears. Is it surprising we go astray? The surprise is that we succeed at all.

> The missing datum is, "where's the credit line?" We don't know (and I'm damned sure I though we'd have hit it long ago, so what do I know?)

The credit line has to stop when 100% of the income goes to paying the interest on the debt. At an income of around $3T growing at about 2%/year and an debt of $20T growing at about 5%/year all you need is the relevant interest rate to perform the calculations. It will actually stop somewhere before then, but it's pretty much impossible to determine exactly when. We're probably OK up to the 50% level.

Blogger spinoza April 10, 2019 9:59 AM  

Is nt

Blogger CM April 10, 2019 10:32 AM  

The ideal most people think of when they say ``capitalism'' is probably closer to Chesterton's distributism than to our current state.

My idea of capitalism vs distributism is a value difference.

Capitalism promotes the accumulation of capital, so success is measured by how much capital you have.

Distributism appears to value providing a service to your community well.

The result is capitalism builds narrow and high... few very large businesses, as the more capital they control, the better they can out-compete smaller businesses (even without government intervention). Capitalism favors big business.

Distributism builds wide and low - more small businesses. Its locally driven and promotes quality and loyalty. Anti-trust law is distributors, not capitalist. Distributism favors small businesses.

I'm currently protesting my local "christian" radio station because their ministry has been very capitalist with free money (donations). They have expanded from an Orlando station to directly challenging local stations in Ocala and Tampa. Those local stations can't compete with that.

It doesn't serve those communities, either. Traffic reports are centered in Orlando. What do the other cities benefit from knowing that there's a crash on Kirkman?

It puts those local stations out of business, removing a community supporter from the community.

That's not ministry. Its greed.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 10, 2019 11:10 AM  

The credit line has to stop when 100% of the income goes to paying the interest on the debt. At an income of around $3T growing at about 2%/year and an debt of $20T growing at about 5%/year all you need is the relevant interest rate to perform the calculations. It will actually stop somewhere before then, but it's pretty much impossible to determine exactly when. We're probably OK up to the 50% level.

It's a pyramid. Payments depend on growth, and growth depends on growing debt. Any hiccup at all and we'll discover that GDP isn't real. This isn't about the math. It's about collective trust.

Borrow & spend.
Spending grows industry.
Industry generates savings.
Savings is used to buy bonds.
Bond-buying enables borrowing.
Rising industry/savings/bond-buying keeps bond prices high/interest rates low.

We don't have wealth now. We have fist-fulls of IOU's we call wealth, but the value of the IOU's rests entirely on mass psychology, of herd-level trust in the future value (and pay-ability of debtors, paradoxically being the very holders of the debts.) There really is something to "we owe it to ourselves." It's the obverse of the notion that shooting our toes off one by one is "only doing it to ourselves."

Back when inflation meant "printing more banknotes of ever-higher denomination" one could at least stuff a mattress with paper of shrinking purchasing power. In a credit bubble, the closest analogy is that one morning we wake up and half of those bills on which we slept simply evaporated. That's what a debt-value-collapse deflation promises.

But you and I concur on two things:
1. Our insight into this has yielded nothing of value.
2. We have no idea when this absurdity will end.

Blogger Tars Tarkas April 10, 2019 11:22 AM  

eclecticme wrote:These people are protected from foreign made goods or H-1B foreigners imported into the US, as they lack govt enforced credentials. A US RN or MD is protected, at least for several years, from imported RNs or MDs. A Russian MD is US janitor.

They are stacking hospitals in poor areas with Indians who can barely speak English. The standard of care is appalling.
I got into an accident in a bad part of town in the city I live in and went to the nearest hospital in an ambulance. It was a small building tucked away in a slum. It was probably an old factory converted into a hospital. Nothing but Indian doctors and nurses and nearly all Puerto Rican patients. The place was filthy too. This was like 15 or 20 years ago. I hear this is happening in places like West Virginia as well. Load up a bunch of foreign doctors and start prescribing hillbilly heroin for every patient.

Blogger OGRE April 10, 2019 11:23 AM  

Market price signalling provides useful information, but it is not flawless nor does it necessarily suggest an ethically ideal allocation of resources. Price is a factor of Demand, and Demand represents the desire to purchase a product by those who are willing and able to purchase it. As such, price will always suggest an allocation favoring those who have more resources than those who have less. If we define value in such a manner, then of course price will suggest an 'efficient' allocation of resources, for we've defined efficiency and value tautologically.

Economics is not and never will be a deductive science, no matter how much every economist since Menger wishes it were so. How can it be when so much theory and analysis rests on always false assumptions? Perfect Rationality, Perfect Information, Perfect Competition, etc. Nowhere and never do these assumptions apply in the actual world, yet we would organize the whole of society around theories derived from them. Efficiency determined by Value, Value as a derivative of Price, Price a function of desire and ability. All purposefully removed from ethical considerations by attempts to turn economics into science, freed from its proper place as a subset of moral philosophy. We look at an arbitrarily defined economically efficient allocation of resources as if it were the result of some physical law like gravity, then argue that such efficiency is morally good--even though ethics have been intentionally left out of the equations.

It is this fundamental error of defining value as a function of willingness and ability to purchase that leads to results as indicated in the other post...an oversupply of luxury housing left empty and unsold while low wage workers can't even afford to rent 1 bedroom apartments. It is what makes a nation pave over farmland that has been used for centuries to feed its people, in order to replace it with factories making gadgets to be shipped overseas. It is why the whole of Creation is treated as a commodity to be bought and sold, and why man is considered as nothing but a vehicle of production, his sole purpose in existence being to create and amass wealth.

Man's wants are limitless, but his needs are not so. A man only needs so much food, so much clothing, so much shelter, to provide for himself and his family comfortably in accord with his nature and God's design. Desiring more than that for oneself is Avarice and is a sin. A perfectly free market would seek to satisfy all of man's limitless desires, regardless of how well his needs are actually met. It fosters Avarice in man with promises of ever increasing wealth, and the Invisible Hand would direct all of society towards the impossible task of satisfying those sinful demands.

Blogger Gen. Kong April 10, 2019 11:33 AM  

Yes, socialism and our current system are different ways to central control. So much for "socialism and capitalism are diametrically opposed."

The whole argument about socialism and finance capitalism being mortal enemies is pure wizardry. They've always worked together - at least in the west where both scams operated hand-in-glove. Communists Lenin and Trotsky were fronted 5 billion gold marks by the capitalist (((Warburg))) banking cartel to overthrow the liberal capitalist regime of Aleksandr Kerensky. The capitalist financier (((Armand Hammer))) was very active in funding the Bolshevik regime in the 1920s. Bringing it close to the present, look at the occupy movement - ostensibly anti-capitalist but curiously willing to accept large sums of cash from (((Soros))) and aid from (((Bloomberg))). The reason the (((neocons))) "opposed communism" was simply a turf dispute - Stalin hijacked the racket they had going and killed their rabbi Trotsky. Russia bad again!

Blogger Lance E April 10, 2019 11:55 AM  

Harambe wrote:
Whether it is true or not, this sounds exactly like HUR DUR THAT WASN'T REAL SOCIALISM. And is about as effective too.


Except that we've actually had real capitalism. It's existed in various forms for thousands of years, and has always raised the standard of living for those practicing it. Note the precision here; I said standard of living, not "the economy" as represented by some silly made-up metric like GDP.

Private property and contracts are not synonymous with "rule by bankers". Marxists can't even properly explain what socialism is, let alone capitalism; the latter is just a word that represents everything in the way of their socialist paradise, which itself isn't an actual economic system, it's an incoherent description of a hypothetical post-scarcity society.

As for rhetorical effectiveness... sure, but if you're choosing to debate a Marxist then you've already lost. You may as well debate a flat-earther or cryptozoologist.

Blogger James Dixon April 10, 2019 12:24 PM  

> This isn't about the math. It's about collective trust.

Agreed. The math merely sets the upper bounds at which trust must evaporate. That's still a useful exercise though.

> All purposefully removed from ethical considerations by attempts to turn economics into science, freed from its proper place as a subset of moral philosophy.

I'd say you've summed up the problem.

> A perfectly free market would seek to satisfy all of man's limitless desires, regardless of how well his needs are actually met.

Isn't that pretty much the situation we find ourselves in, at least in the developed world?

Blogger Azimus April 10, 2019 1:18 PM  

61. James Dixon April 09, 2019 9:48 PM
We've had the answer for a long time now. That's what the anti-trust laws are for. If you don't let companies get that big, you don't have such billionaires. And if governments weren't so powerful, they money wouldn't let them buy such favor. Big business and big government. A match made in Hades.


Good point. Now all you need is someone ready, willing, and able to invoke those antitrust laws. Would that take care of "old money" like Rockafellers? I'm not so sure. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, etc wealth is directly tied to major stakes in corporations, but not all of them. We need all of them.

Blogger James Dixon April 10, 2019 2:46 PM  

> Now all you need is someone ready, willing, and able to invoke those antitrust laws.

We're still a ways from getting that. It certainly won't be Trump. Though I expect he's tempted on occasion.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 10, 2019 5:19 PM  

OGRE wrote:Man's wants are limitless, but his needs are not so. A man only needs so much food, so much clothing, so much shelter, to provide for himself and his family comfortably ...

It doesn't matter how rich a man is, he can only drink twenty or thirty pints of beer in a day.

Actual needs are indeed limited, by the same mechanism that keeps us from meeting all our infinite wants.

Blogger DJ | AMDG April 10, 2019 5:38 PM  

Ha! You haven’t spent a Saturday with an Irishman!

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 10, 2019 8:07 PM  

@91, whatever the actual number, there is a physical limit to how much you can pour through.

Blogger john darson April 10, 2019 10:59 PM  

@86 The other poster has a point, in that self-proclaimed followers of some strict notion of capitalism have to constantly claim we are not under a capitalist system. Moreover, "true" capitalism, if that means a "true" free market, is likely synonymous with utter chaotic anarchy. Nothing in the past few hundred years seems to qualify as true capitalism. Communism has just as well possibly existed on a teensy tribal scale, just as a true free market can exist in some atomized anarchical state, if even.

In short, I would say that the platforming of capitalism over God, and markets over people is just as foolhardy as the outlook of a typical communist.

Blogger tc April 11, 2019 12:33 AM  

one other reason, that the remaining christians in this nation delegate their responsibility of charity on and govmt organs, thus empowering those...

Then, there is the segment, that joins the peace corps...and needs to be rescued by seal team x...

...if everyone jes minded their own biziniss...or at least the men stayed out of the churches, like they used to and kept the wiminnz out of the voting booth...

eh...itz all effed up noe...

Blogger Durandel April 12, 2019 12:29 PM  

@camcleat

Distributism is just socialism with rhetorical window dressing. What is being distributed? New land and means of production...or is it REdistribution of current land and wealth? By what mechanism will this be done? How does this not violate property rights, as Pope Leo XIII noted in RN?

Dr Taylor Marshall recently did an episode discussing the above and more. I love GK and Belloc, but they knew zilch about economic science. They just tried to poorly baptize socialism into the Catholic Church.

Blogger politepete April 17, 2019 9:42 AM  

The linked article is advocating for ObamaCare and Dodd Frank? Of course free market advocates are against those.

https://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com/2012/03/too-big-not-to-fail.html

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