rtg24

RIP Capitalism

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Today is a sad, sad day for prosperity and for the greatness of the United States.

I do not need to post a link - you all know what I am referring to (220-215).

As ever with terrible news, there is a silver lining: http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/tax-and-econ...--200911084403/

On that note, I'm off to a shoot in Stamford, whilst it's still legal. We shall toast to the death of capitalism, and I may well wear a black tie to the event.

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Today is a sad, sad day for prosperity and for the greatness of the United States.

I do not need to post a link - you all know what I am referring to (220-215).

As ever with terrible news, there is a silver lining: http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/tax-and-econ...--200911084403/

On that note, I'm off to a shoot in Stamford, whilst it's still legal. We shall toast to the death of capitalism, and I may well wear a black tie to the event.

The Republicans will not get a House majority in the 2010 bi-election. Even if they did, do you expect them to repeal the so-called health bill in 2011? I don't. They did not repeal medicare even when they had the votes.

Bob Kolker

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Apologies, there could have been some confusion over which event I was referring to. It appears the EUSSR has finally formed (as reported in Pravda under "Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the EU is now a reincarnation of the Soviet Union"). Combine this with Healthcare and we possibly have the turning point for Western civilization.

Bob - I think what they are implying (and the way I read into it) isn't 2010 but 2012 or 2016. Which is a real possibility - the Libertarian/Objectivist movement is fast picking up momentum.

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Quoting an e-mail from Eric Odom, of the conservative American Liberty Alliance:

Outrage ...

I'm not sure if these thugs are just sick with power and look for complete control, or if they're so heavily struck with narcissism that they genuinely don't understand what it is that they're doing. ...

But either way, this legislation seeks to destroy everything that made our country great. This bill rips from us our personal liberty, our reason for hard work, our drive for productivity, and our ability to be free in our personal responsibility.

Should this legislation pass the Senate, we Americans will be forced to choose healthcare that is run by a government of thugs and power hungry special interest shrills. And if we refuse, we'll face up to $250,000 in fines and up to 5 years in jail.

At this point in time, I feel the urge to begin considering the reality of what we're up against. I no longer have any desire to be politically correct. It's time to start recognizing this for what it is.

Our Government, a body made up of powerful people entrusted to protect our liberty and freedom, has openly declared war on us. ...

HE'S TRYING ... but that Marxist bastard from Chicago doesn't yet have as much power as Mussolini did.

AND HE NEVER WILL. In spite of shilling by the mainstream media, pro-Obama Democrats lost BIG in Virginia and New Jersey. More and more people are seeing his power grabs for what they are: evil and destructive.

On election night next year, that morally handicapped narcissist is going to get such a rude shock, even watching a TV biography of himself won't cure it.

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Productive people of integrity are being returned to "the state of nature" by these animals, the ancestors of the Morlocks. The State of Nature may have been a hypothesis only in early political thought; there is nothing hypothetical about the attack on the productive, the able, the rational in this political jungle.

I said in a private message to someone that a similar event reminded me of a scene in the 1933 verison of King Kong. Kong attackes his pursuers on the giant log and kills most of them. Robert Armstrong and Burce Cabot survive and find themselves on opposite sides of the gorge. The speak a bit and then Cabot turns to pursue Kong and Armstrong turns to brave the swamps and dinosaurs to return to get help from the ship. In one of the neat scenes in the movies, the music starts, they begin to run and then simultaneously stop and look back into each other's eyes. Then they turn away from the comfort of another human's presence and go off to there tasks.

It is difficult to shake the feeling that's about where we are.

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HE'S TRYING ... but that Marxist bastard from Chicago doesn't yet have as much power as Mussolini did.

AND HE NEVER WILL. In spite of shilling by the mainstream media, pro-Obama Democrats lost BIG in Virginia and New Jersey. More and more people are seeing his power grabs for what they are: evil and destructive.

On election night next year, that morally handicapped narcissist is going to get such a rude shock, even watching a TV biography of himself won't cure it.

I predict that ObamaCare will not get through the Senate. If for some weird reason it does, there will be such a backlash in 2010 that the new Republican Congress will repeal it before most of the provisions go into effect.

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I predict that ObamaCare will not get through the Senate. If for some weird reason it does, there will be such a backlash in 2010 that the new Republican Congress will repeal it before most of the provisions go into effect.

I won't speculate on what the Senate will do or what form legislation will take when something is ultimately passed, but whatever they do will make the problems much worse. Bob is right to be skeptical that Republicans will repeal it. It is much harder to repeal a law than to enact it. It is extremely rare that such controversial laws are repealed regardless of the damage they cause. There are too many "moderates" in the Republican Party for it to enact a meaningful revolt and too many Republicans worried about appeasing "moderate" voters to take a principled and effective stand. For all the intense opposition to government health control in the name of health "care" and "reform", there is now an enormous portion of the population that is leftist and/or who don't know how to think about such issues and who go with the "pragmatic flow" movitivated by utopian imagery. That is how Gore and Kerry came so close to being elected and Obama and the radical progressive Congress were elected. Whatever may happen to partially reverse the latest elections in our zigzagging into the abyss, the radical left is now in power and is exploiting its window of opportunity to entrench radical structural changes to government regardless of protests against them, knowing that they are making permanent changes for statism and socialism.

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I predict that ObamaCare will not get through the Senate.

Why not?

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I predict that ObamaCare will not get through the Senate. If for some weird reason it does, there will be such a backlash in 2010 that the new Republican Congress will repeal it before most of the provisions go into effect.

I will give you 8 to 5 odds that a Republican Congress will NOT repeal Obamacare (if it passes). They might water it down a bit, but if the public likes it they will not repeal it. Tell me, did the Republicans repeal Medicare and Medicaid, passed during the Johnson administration?

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I will give you 8 to 5 odds that a Republican Congress will NOT repeal Obamacare (if it passes). They might water it down a bit, but if the public likes it they will not repeal it. Tell me, did the Republicans repeal Medicare and Medicaid, passed during the Johnson administration?

Why only 8 to 5 odds? There was a lot more statist Great Society legislation than that which they never repealed. In some cases me-too Republicans have led the charge to expand on it, helping in PR blitzes to manipulate the "public" into "liking it".

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Why only 8 to 5 odds? There was a lot more statist Great Society legislation than that which they never repealed. In some cases me-too Republicans have led the charge to expand on it, helping in PR blitzes to manipulate the "public" into "liking it".

Forget the odds, then. But do not pin too much hope on the Republicans to do the Right Thing. They have failed to do so in the past, why should the future be any different?

Bob Kolker

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Forget the odds, then. But do not pin too much hope on the Republicans to do the Right Thing. They have failed to do so in the past, why should the future be any different?

The difference will be that the future will be progressively worse, and so will the behavior of the "moderates" in the Republican Party. Not doing the right thing is the least of it. They can be counted on -- to make things worse, just more slowly than the most radical progressives in the Democrat Party. The best elements of the Republican Party are in the minority.

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I predict that ObamaCare will not get through the Senate.

Why not?

It barely made it through the House. If three House members had voted "No" it would have been defeated. In the Senate, you need 60 votes to break a filibuster and bring the bill to a vote. Several Democrats are already against the bill because various provisions have alienated large constituent groups like seniors and labor unions.

If the vote gets postponed until Thanksgiving or Christmas or 2009, that gives voters time to read the bill, raise objections, run ads against it, hold tea parties and demonstrations, and complain to Senators when they come back home.

Bottom line, I expect that the fate of ObamaCare will be similar to that of Cap and Trade which barely passed the House and is stalled in the Senate.

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I will give you 8 to 5 odds that a Republican Congress will NOT repeal ObamaCare (if it passes). They might water it down a bit, but if the public likes it they will not repeal it. Tell me, did the Republicans repeal Medicare and Medicaid, passed during the Johnson administration?

There's a big difference between ObamaCare and Medicare/Medicaid. The latter paid off from day one and the bills came in later. ObamaCare has all the costs and regulations up front and the benefits don't kick in until 2013. That's how they kept it "deficit neutral" Before 2013, the only people affected by the plan will be taxpayers with a vested interest in getting rid of it.

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It barely made it through the House. If three House members had voted "No" it would have been defeated. In the Senate, you need 60 votes to break a filibuster and bring the bill to a vote. Several Democrats are already against the bill because various provisions have alienated large constituent groups like seniors and labor unions.

If the vote gets postponed until Thanksgiving or Christmas or 2009, that gives voters time to read the bill, raise objections, run ads against it, hold tea parties and demonstrations, and complain to Senators when they come back home.

I hope you're right. It's the best news on this whole mess since last night's headlines.

In other (not at all unrelated) news, gold just hit an all-time high in Hong Kong. Expect big jump in gold price tomorrow AM. However, if the Senate eventually kills the bill, I'd expect gold to drop. Hopefully we're seeing the last of Obama's successes. If November's elections significantly shift the House or Senate numbers toward the GOP, we can count on a wonderful period of gridlock -- and at last a recovery.

The worst thing that can happen is for EITHER party to have unchecked rule of Congress and the White House. Both parties are statist, with differing views of how to interfere with the economy. That intervention has been especially large and unpredictable with Obama, leaving businesses completely unable to predict long-term trends, leaving them unwilling to invest. Only when the government's rate, type, and magnitude of interference is curtailed will the economy recover.

P.S. Just heard on LA's KFI talk station: "John Galt, if you're listening -- call in." That's the John Batchelor show, which I haven't listened to before. But I sure will again!

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There's a big difference between ObamaCare and Medicare/Medicaid. The latter paid off from day one and the bills came in later. ObamaCare has all the costs and regulations up front and the benefits don't kick in until 2013. That's how they kept it "deficit neutral" Before 2013, the only people affected by the plan will be taxpayers with a vested interest in getting rid of it.

That is a difference in tactics of implementation but is not an essential distinction between them or relevant to what any of it is like in the intended outcome.

As for generating opposition, it is hard to see how initial costs will have any affect on taxpayers because there is no accounting of where your taxes go -- you only get a total tax bill, with no idea of where any of goes or what is going on behind the scenes with deficit spending sucking more money out of the economy. Direct taxes don't even reflect the spending. Total government spending is so large now that the numbers are all incomprehensible to most people: What difference does it make whether the national debt is a few trillion more or less? No one knows what any of it means. All we get out those numbers is pious platitudes appealing to "responsibility" as they decide on ever higher spending, shooting up faster or slower depending on who is in charge.

Likewise with the regulations. They are so convoluted and so buried, directly targeting only a minority in the health care industry, that no one knows what is causing what problems, especially as the media and the government continue to demagogue private industry as the cause of all problems. If news reporting were responsible enough to untangle all this, it would have been responsible enough to tell people what is happening all along and it wouldn't get that far.

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It barely made it through the House. If three House members had voted "No" it would have been defeated. In the Senate, you need 60 votes to break a filibuster and bring the bill to a vote. Several Democrats are already against the bill because various provisions have alienated large constituent groups like seniors and labor unions.

If the vote gets postponed until Thanksgiving or Christmas or 2009, that gives voters time to read the bill, raise objections, run ads against it, hold tea parties and demonstrations, and complain to Senators when they come back home.

Bottom line, I expect that the fate of ObamaCare will be similar to that of Cap and Trade which barely passed the House and is stalled in the Senate.

The House is typically more extreme than the Senate no matter which side is in power. It may or may not stall in the Senate, but they will still try to do something that makes things fundamentally worse, incrementally if necessary.

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Hopefully we're seeing the last of Obama's successes. If November's elections significantly shift the House or Senate numbers toward the GOP, we can count on a wonderful period of gridlock -- and at last a recovery.

Obama is and will continue to do enormous damage even if no new major legislation were to be passed. He controls the executive branch of the government, which means he is running the government under existing law that already provides enormous power. That includes writing and interpreting rules implementing law in accordance with the progressive agenda.

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It barely made it through the House. If three House members had voted "No" it would have been defeated. In the Senate, you need 60 votes to break a filibuster and bring the bill to a vote. Several Democrats are already against the bill because various provisions have alienated large constituent groups like seniors and labor unions.

If the vote gets postponed until Thanksgiving or Christmas or 2009, that gives voters time to read the bill, raise objections, run ads against it, hold tea parties and demonstrations, and complain to Senators when they come back home.

I hope you're right. It's the best news on this whole mess since last night's headlines.

I just checked Intrade.com and the "US.GOVT.HEALTHPLAN.DEC09 - A federal government run health insurance plan to be approved before midnight ET 31 Dec 2009" $100 contract is now selling for $7.

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I just checked Intrade.com and the "US.GOVT.HEALTHPLAN.DEC09 - A federal government run health insurance plan to be approved before midnight ET 31 Dec 2009" $100 contract is now selling for $7.
I thought the timeline was for Obama to sign something early next year.

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P.S. Just heard on LA's KFI talk station: "John Galt, if you're listening -- call in." That's the John Batchelor show, which I haven't listened to before. But I sure will again!

Wow, what is with KFI tonight? Now (9:30PM) he's interviewing Anne Heller about her bio of Ayn Rand! Not the best choice, but still... more exposure can't be bad. Now they're talking about Ayn's childhood in Russia, "The Mysterious Valley," etc. I've never heard such biographical info come up before in a general-audience interview.

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Today is a sad, sad day for prosperity and for the greatness of the United States.

I do not need to post a link - you all know what I am referring to (220-215).

As ever with terrible news, there is a silver lining: http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/tax-and-econ...--200911084403/

On that note, I'm off to a shoot in Stamford, whilst it's still legal. We shall toast to the death of capitalism, and I may well wear a black tie to the event.

I was born in the year 1936, during the second term of FDR. In my lifetime I have yet to see real honest to goodness Capitalism at work. I have experienced a Mixed Economy. Some capitalistic market aspects at work and a good deal of government regulation and interference with the minute parts of our lives. So I am unable to mourn the passing of Capitalism since it never really existed in my lifetime. I am not sure it ever existed in the entire history of the United States. We have an Eminent Domain provision in our constitution, taxation is established constitutionally, the post office has a monopoly constitutionally. For only a brief period were roads financed privately and the government got involved with the railroads early on.

For technological innovations the government involvement has been both good news and bad news. The government ordained and funded the computer communications network (for defense purposes) which later became our beloved Internet. The government promoted the growth of telephone communication but at the cost of making the telephone company a government regulated monopoly until fairly recent times. Good bye to Bell Telephone Lab as we knew her. Military needs have promoted the growth of the electronics industry and it is not entirely clear how advanced we would be if we had a purely Capitalistic economy. We may speculate about it, but we cannot be entirely sure. Some believe we would be light-years ahead of where we are now, others disagree. I suspect without the Manhattan Project we would not have light water reactors to generate electricity as we currently have, but I could be wrong about that. Without government mail contracts one may wonder to what extent commercial passenger airline service would have prospered. And then again, war needs did drive the development of jet propelled aircraft. And so the argument might go.

From a qualitative point of view I think we would have a much brighter and healthier society than we have now if there had be less government meddling with the minute portions of our lives.

Bob Kolker

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Like the passing of Mark Twain, the death of capitalism has been announced often and prematurely.

Working now on a master's in social science, I have a class in global crime. My term paper will be on global corporate crime, the globalist crimes of capitalism. (Sorry... sort of stuck with that topic for now...) My thesis is that capitalism continues to evolve and survive, an successful system in a hostile environment.

Preparing my research, I read several "history of capitalism" and "futue of capitalism" books from 1920, 1940 and 1980. One economist said that the reason that the European governments -- Switzerland, Austria, and others -- had to bail out their banks in 1930 was that they did not have the same kind of close supervision that spared the USA. Another author siad that the invention of the conglomerate had created a world of market domination by a few large firms -- in 1982: he did not see Microsoft or Intel or Apple or Nike or Eddie Bauer or Tommy Hilfinger or a hundred dozen others.

Corporations are subject to different laws -- more of them -- than private firms, of course. Thus, the new trend in private equity, taking public companies into closed partnerships.

I could on at length. My term paper will run 25 pages plus.

For one thing, if capitalism is "dead" then when was it born? Riddle me that, Batman!

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For one thing, if capitalism is "dead" then when was it born? Riddle me that, Batman!

Did it ever really, actually exist in the physical world, or is it like the "ideal gas" of thermodynamics, a useful abstraction formulated as a limiting case for real world gases, none of which are exactly the "ideal gas?

If it never actually existed then it cannot have died or been destroyed.

Bob Kolker

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I was born in the year 1936, during the second term of FDR. In my lifetime I have yet to see real honest to goodness Capitalism at work. I have experienced a Mixed Economy. Some capitalistic market aspects at work and a good deal of government regulation and interference with the minute parts of our lives. So I am unable to mourn the passing of Capitalism since it never really existed in my lifetime. I am not sure it ever existed in the entire history of the United States. We have an Eminent Domain provision in our constitution, taxation is established constitutionally, the post office has a monopoly constitutionally. For only a brief period were roads financed privately and the government got involved with the railroads early on.

Government actions are inciting people to 'mourn the passing of capitalism' not because there is a sudden elimination of it, but rather because the political changes now are so dramatic in what has otherwise been a slow decline through a mixed economy. The flaws you mention are real, but did not in the early days have such an intense impact on the scale it has today. Eminent domain was provided for but almost never used by the Federal government until around the beginning of the 20th century (with the Condemnation Act of 1898); before that, what controversies there were were perpetrated by some states. But it was nothing like the sweeping abuse of the last several decades, increasingly endorsed by the Supreme Court and forcibly imposed on a large scale. The income tax appeared in the early 20th century (after an earlier failure), but was much, much less in its impact than today. The post office was a "monopoly" from the beginning, but didn't stop people from communicating by whatever means they chose. These and other contradictions have been adopted in principle for a long time, but it took over a century for the chickens to come home to roost -- which roosting was already becoming prevalent before you were there to see it in 1936.

Real capitalism, i.e., consistent political and economic freedom, was never fully implemented, but it did once dominate before being so significantly repressed that it became necessary to identify the system as "mixed". Earlier abuses that impacted some individuals have grown to become much more pervasive and broader in scope, and are now structurally escalating rapidly. The changes being implemented will have enormously damaging personal impacts as they are imposed in practice, as is intended.

For technological innovations the government involvement has been both good news and bad news... Military needs have promoted the growth of the electronics industry and it is not entirely clear how advanced we would be if we had a purely Capitalistic economy. We may speculate about it, but we cannot be entirely sure.

No one can know what would have happened across time in any detail in any realm if different choices had been made. We do know that the government did not create the advances you mentioned: they were created by individual scientists and engineers using their intelligence, but operating at least in part on government money, not by bureaucrats and politicians. If some things would not have been developed as rapidly under consistent freedom not permitting the redistribution of assets, it is also true that the redistributions were coerced distortions in the economy that cannot be justified simply because some people benefited at the expense of others through government force. The technology we "have now" and a fear that we might not have otherwise had some of it, is not the standard for judging such things. Capitalism, i.e., freedom, is a political system, not utilitarian economics. No particular economic results deemed desirable by anyone justify violating people's rights, nor does the consistent violation of rights preventing individuals from making their own choices result in a better economy, as has been repeatedly demonstrated by more statist societies.

From a qualitative point of view I think we would have a much brighter and healthier society than we have now if there had be less government meddling with the minute portions of our lives.

Yes, but why restrict it to direct meddling with only "minute portions"? Everything they do ultimately restricts some specific choice you would otherwise be able to make. That is why they do it.

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