Category: The Economy

If you are wondering how bad our country has become

Then you are not alone. Personally, as someone that has lived in many different countries and cultures, what I am seeing is America adapting the very things that I saw were so fucked up in these other countries and cultures that held them back. This country once was the place where success, hard work, character, and especially a dream that everyone, if they applied these things to themselves had a chance, defined us as a people. People in charge, even the people in politics, which tended to never really be the cream of the crop, accomplished things. Progress was not just a word, but the way of things.

Now the country is run by an unholy alliance of a bunch of credentialed scumbags – our new American aristocracy, with all the trappings and frailties of that very system our forefathers, now abhorred because they were white men, tried to hard to make sure could never come about here and fuck things up like they had in Europe – that feel we serfs don’t deserve them because we dare to resist their massive stupidity and idiotic ideas, and the select few ultra-rich people or giant corporate entities that these credentialed scumbags have decided to favor with monopolistic powers over others. That’s how we get them pissing away tax payer dollars enriching the special interests that push ludicrous and counter productive agendas like “green whateverthecuck” or trying to sell us serves on giving up our freedoms to save Gaia from a wholly manufactured global crisis. These select ultra-rich people and corporate entities have become richer than ever, while the rest of us are barely hanging on or even heading in the other direction. And that’s by design. These people want a 2 class society with them on top and the rest of us controlled by them, like the people they admired did back in the good ole USSR, China, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, and other such hotbeds of collectivist delusion.

Things have gotten so bad since the collectivists took over the executive and legislative branches of government in the major campaign of delusion that happened in 2008, that we now have lived in a perpetual depression that the left pretends really is just about to end or ended, while those of us that work for a living see nothing of the sort. Through a long implemented indoctrination system that took over control of the education system, they have managed to brainwash way too many into tapping into envy and greed, allowing them to produce a class of people that feel empowered to suck at the government’s teat, allowing them to use the electoral process to buy votes with the very money they steal from the productive, and giving themselves a patina of legitimacy. And they despise the productive for not just going along .

Our government is now in the business of choosing winners & losers, and they make a pretty lucrative living doing that. It is time to go back to smaller, less intrusive, and definitely less of an elitist crowd that actually understands their job is to serve the people, not to fleece them like this criminal bunch does.

That was by design, you idiots.

So, Bloomberg has an article titled “Obamacare Insurers Are Suffering. That Won’t End Well.” which basically points out that the dire predictions by everyone that was not a collectivist Obama cock-sucking bitch are not only panning out, but panning out much faster than expected, and wondering how this could have happened. After all, with a name like “Affordable Healthcare Act”, how can this boondogle be sucking up money down a black hole while delivering no measurable improvements of any kind other than the usual debunked donkey talking points?

It now looks pretty clear that insurers are having a very bad experience in these markets. The sizeable premium increases would have been even higher if insurers had not stepped up the deductibles and clamped down on provider networks. The future of Obamacare now looks like more money for less generous coverage than its architects had hoped in the first few years.

But of course, that doesn’t mean insurers need to leave the market. Insurance is priced based on expectations; if you expect to pay out more, you just raise the price. After all, people are required to buy the stuff, on pain of a hefty penalty. How hard can it be to make money in this market?

Let me answer that: Impossible. And that’s by design. This thing, from the very start, was design and put together by people that had to pass it in secrecy, so they could have avoided any scrutiny that would have shed light that what they had obviously was intended to destroy the existing US health insurance market. And as the title of my post points out, they did it by design, because the end goal for these crooks has always been a government controlled single-payer system that would allow government to control the lives of its citizens with even more impunity.

They will keep coming after the serfs, and they will get us to bow down to their will. We peasants should be glad our masters are throwing us these table scraps.

You got the title wrong..

Over at the Washington Free Beacon they have an article titled “Wealth of Congressional Democrats Spikes Despite Income Inequality Agenda” that gave me a good laugh. They got the title wrong. The democrats in congress have not been able to increase their wealth despite their inequality agenda, but have done so percisely because of that agenda. Collectivism, especially this new soft facism – a marriage between the state and certain large entities in the corporate world that pay it homage and good money – that the left lives by, exists to enrich the political class that banks on the envy and greed of those amongst the masses that feel it is unfair others make or have more than they do just because these others worked hard or inherited money from others that worked hard.

Jobs and Austerity

By reasonable standards, we got a good jobs report today. 271,000 hires with a drop in part-time employment, a rise in wages and positive revisions to earlier months. It’s not Reagan, but it’s good.

So … time for your monthly reminder. This is not supposed to be happening. We are now in our fifth year of “austerity” where federal spending has been essentially flat and state spending has fallen. According to all the Keynesians, we are supposed to be back in recession. Job creation simply isn’t possible without government spending. According to the likes of Krugman, that’s the only variable that matters: how much the government is spending.

Now just imagine if our employers weren’t hamstrung with over a trillion dollars in deadweight loss from excessive regulation, over-complicated taxes and an expanding welfare state. The economy is staggering around with a five ton elephant on its back and is still producing jobs.

Now I suppose a clever left-winger will reverse those statements. “The economy is succeeding despite regulation and Obamacare! If only we didn’t have austerity!” Here’s the difference. We can measure the effects of regulation and taxation. There are direct compliance costs that absolutely come out of the pockets of employers. The effects of austerity are based on speculation and economic models that have yet to predict anything. When it comes to which narrative we should believe — the very visible dollars being sucked out of our bottom lines or the theoretical dollars being eaten by “austerity” … well, you be the judge of which of those you think is real.

Croney capitalist billionaire wants to stop others from getting rich like him

Say what you want about Bill gates, but as of late he has turned into a giant bag of dicks. The man that managed to successfully create and hold a incestuous monopolistic relationship with big government that allowed the mega corporation he ran to crush competition and make him a fucking billionaire, now in his old age, is basically trying his best to limit membership to the exclusive he belongs to by asking that the bar that keeps the riff-raff out of the new American aristocracy be raised even more.

Never mind the idiotic fact that the crony capitalism of the last few decades that has all but subverted and destroyed the small business industries that used to keep our overregulated and overburdened economy growing by some miracle, is a direct byproduct of big government socialism he tells us we need more of. He pleads his case by calling of all things on the idiotic and discredited big government booga-boo of climate change.

Seriously? Of course they need socialism to cure climate change, duh! In fact, the people that champion this idiotic cult’s teachings were hoping that they could scare everyone else with their doomsday climate change predictions to get even more oppressive socialism that would otherwise never be acceptable rammed down people’s throats.

Don’t be fooled by these mega rich assholes, like Gates or Buffet, whom for some ungodly reason seem to push anti-capitalist bullshit. They do this for personal gain. They know they have enough power and wealth to keep anyone from taking theirs, and they push for more corrupt government control precisely because it will both benefit them personally while making it possible for them to control whom gets allowed in the credentialed aristocratic circle the left has managed to create in this country.

Capitalism died a long time ago, right about the time government inserted itself in the middle of any business transaction between willing participants, through mechanisms that control entry and protect special interests while pretending to be done to serve the public.

Fuck these assholes and the horse they rode in on. What we really need is a culling of the new aristocracy.

What is the most common fear of Americans in the age of Obama?

When Americans was surveyed about their greatest fears, the survey found the top issue was corrupt government.

The researchers asked a random sample of 1,541 adults to rate the level of fear for 88 different fear options across a variety of domains (like crime and natural disasters). Based on their findings, here were the top 10 fears for 2015:

• Corruption of government officials (58.0%)
• Cyber-terrorism (44.8%)
• Corporate tracking of personal information (44.6%)
• Terrorist attacks (44.4%)
• Government tracking of personal information (41.4%)
• Bio-warfare (40.9%)
• Identity theft (39.6%)
• Economic collapse (39.2%)
• Running out of money in the future (37.4%)
• Credit card fraud (36.9%)

I wish this was something we could just joke about, but I am actually surprised that the number of people that are aware of how corrupt our government has become – willy nilly enforcing laws to benefit the connected few and screwing everyone else over – was so low. And I am certainly not saying that republicans can’t be corrupt, but they are amateurs when it comes to taking government criminal activity to the levels democrats do, and then, they can’t even compete when you put them against the shit done by this administration and the sycophants that help do its dirty work for them.

Notice what was definitely missing? Panic about the collectivist manufactured “Gaia is going to burn up and drown us all unless you allow us to turn you peasants into serfs of an almighty state” big government types that want to sell the AGW fiction needed to scare people into giving up their rights and money.

In the age of Obama..

The world is all upside down. The Social Justice Warriors have presided over a period when the rich have gotten richer than ever, and at a record pace. And ironically one of the biggest winners, Mr. Bezos, who raked in $16 billion in one year, runs a newspaper that makes him a ton of money peddling the SJW bullshit to idiots.

Then again, the crime syndicate in charge has had a lot of such first. Evil Boosh was a warmongering monster that made everybody hate and want to attack America. But the worst humanitarian crisis caused by war can be laid directly at the feet of the incompetent idiots showing us that it is amateur hour at every level of this administration. At least the crisis is fucking over the Europeans mostly right now, but the morons in charge will find a way to make Americans not just pay for their mistakes, but to make them suffer as well.

I won’t bore you with other such contradictions, ranging from environmental disasters caused by the very agency trying to destroy our economy with burdensome regulations that it is immune to and seem to mostly exist to help enrich connected rich people like Mr. Bezos in the first place, to the massive surveillance state created by the most open and ethical administration ever. Obamacare? That promise that it would save everyone big money, insure all the uninsured, and generally heal the sick across the board if we just let our betters pass it already? Yeah, it is costing us an arm and a leg, has barely covered a fraction of the uninsured they tauted would all disappear, and is replete with waste and horrible and destructive regulation that’s causing far more harm than if we had kept the status quo.

We are still printing money like it is going out of style and living large on borrowed money. The economy, which has been in recovery since 2009 when Black Jesus took office is in shambles, but the same idiots keep telling you all is well. Employment numbers are abysmal. Income inequality – another one of the big talking points of the SJW crowd – is at its worst. And the stock market, which had rallied primarily because of insane government spending and an ever devaluating dollar, is giving back every gain it has made.

Robots are taking the manufacturing jobs and even the McJobs, now that the SJW are pushing for insane wages for what amounts to entry level work any bozo off the street would be able to do. Cost of living is flying up, and the only reprieve is the fact that despite their promise to make us pay a shit ton more for energy usage, oil prices – you know that commodity they have been telling us for decades was just about to run out – have plummeted. And that happened despite efforts by this administration to do otherwise, although they are trying to take credit for this now.

Green energy has failed miserably (Volkswagen anyone?), across the board, and yet, this has not deterred the priesthood. After all, they have made more money than ever peddling this bullshit.

And the abuses of power continue as well. The IRS Scandal still remains unanswered. And they are not the only big government entity screwing over political enemies of the left. From the EPA to the DOJ, they are going after any and all that dare point out how corrupt these bastards are. Veterans are being fucked over. Whistleblowers that dare tell the truth about the abuses of this administration get crucified and destroyed. A criminal that has basically shown she shouldn’t be given any kind of security clearance is the top contender to replace Obama as the “Capo di tuti capi”. And the list goes on and one.

I guess, I think, my point is that these people are crooks and liars, and the true believers can’t be bothered either way. Long live the free-loaders!

Monday Quick Hits

BLM Disses Dems; Makes Me Happy:

Last week, the Democratic Party expressed support for Black Lives Matter. Here is BLM’s heartening response:

A resolution signaling the Democratic National Committee’s endorsement that Black lives matter, in no way implies an endorsement of the DNC by the Black Lives Matter Network, nor was it done in consultation with us. We do not now, nor have we ever, endorsed or affiliated with the Democratic Party, or with any party. The Democratic Party, like the Republican and all political parties, have historically attempted to control or contain Black people’s efforts to liberate ourselves. True change requires real struggle, and that struggle will be in the streets and led by the people, not by a political party.

More specifically, the Black Lives Matter Network is clear that a resolution from the Democratic National Committee won’t bring the changes we seek. Resolutions without concrete change are just business as usual. Promises are not policies. We demand freedom for Black bodies, justice for Black lives, safety for Black communities, and rights for Black people. We demand action, not words, from those who purport to stand with us.

While the Black Lives Matter Network applauds political change towards making the world safer for Black life, our only endorsement goes to the protest movement we’ve built together with Black people nationwide — not the self-interested candidates, parties, or political machine seeking our vote.”

Again, I might take issue with some of the verbiage and emphasis. But they are forcing the Democratic Party to admit that they supported the militarization of police and the ramping up of criminal penalties. They are forcing the Democratic Party to face their long history of pandering to black votes while screwing black people. While we might disagree on policy, I applaud any movement that refuses to associate itself with a political party.

Speaking of Keynesianism:

Tyler Cowen reminds us that the growing sinkhole that is the Chinese economy was the subject of praise just a few years ago:

Remember back in 2009, and a bit thereafter (pdf), when so many people were praising China’s very activist, multi-trillion fiscal stimulus?

Yet some of us at the time insisted this would only push off and deepen China’s adjustment problems. There was already excess capacity and high debt and favored state-owned industries, and the stimulus was making all of those problems worse and only postponing a needed adjustment. The Chinese incipient contraction was based on structural problems, not a simple lack of aggregate demand.

How’s that debate going? While the final outcome remains uncertain, Austrian-like perspectives on China are looking pretty good these days.

Just as you go to war with the army you’ve got, so must a country conduct fiscal stimulus with the policy instruments it has. And most forms of Chinese fiscal stimulus make their imbalances worse rather than better. Yet dreams of fiscal stimulus as an answer to the macro problems on the table never die.

To the Keynesians — or, as I call them, the pseudoKeynesians — it is always time to spend money.

Was Segregation Made or Did it Just Happen?:

I’ve been sitting on this link for weeks but there’s not much I can add. It details how our inner city slums didn’t just happen. They were made and the men who made it were Democrats.

Hmm. I should pass that on the BLM folks.

Denali Denial

Obama officially reverted Mt. McKinley back to being named Denali. A few people are trying to whip up some outrage but I don’t see the point. Everyone in Alaska calls it Denali and Congress appears to have punted this kind of authority to the bureaucracy long ago.

The Venezuelan Implosion

Holy shit:

Venezuela is about to earn another ignominious distinction.
Long home to the world’s highest inflation rate, the country now is set to become the site of the 57th hyperinflation event in modern recorded history, says Steve Hanke, professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University. While the feat may be little more than a formality in a country where Hanke calculates annual cost-of-living increases already run at 772 percent, it’s the latest sign a debt default may be closer than traders previously thought.
With Venezuela’s currency losing 32 percent of its value in the past month in the black market, according to, and falling oil prices throttling the cash-starved nation’s biggest revenue source, the government may run out of money to pay its debts by year-end, according to Societe Generale SA. Derivatives traders have ratcheted up the probability of a default within one year to 63 percent, compared with 33 percent just two months ago.

“They’re very close to hyperinflation,” Hanke, who wrote a book on hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, said by phone from Baltimore. “When you have a domestic currency that is withering on the vine, it becomes more problematic servicing foreign debt.”

The currency fell so fast on Monday that it implied a monthly inflation rate of 53.98 percent. A full month of days on which the implied monthly rate was faster than 50 percent would meet his definition for hyperinflation.

This is in addition to massive shortages of basic goods, soaring crime, rapidly rising unemployment. So much for Chavismo.

Now this is the point where some well-meaning fool will tell me it’s all America’s fault or something. But the thing is, this economic collapse was predicted by everyone who knew what they were talking about. McCardle:

For about a decade, some sectors of the left hoped that Hugo Chavez represented an alternative to the neoliberal consensus on economic policy. Every time I wrote that Chavez was in fact direly mismanaging the economy, diverting investment funds that were needed to maintain oil output into social spending, I knew that I could look forward to receiving angry e-mails and comments accusing me of trying to sabotage his achievements for the benefit of my corporatist paymaster.

The problem was that the money he was using was, essentially, the nation’s seed corn. Venezuelan crude oil is relatively expensive to extract and refine and required a high level of investment just to keep production level. As long as oil prices were booming, this policy wasn’t too costly because the increase offset production losses. But this suffered from the same acceleration problem that we discussed earlier: The more production fell, the more the country needed prices to rise to offset it.

A little over a decade ago, I had a long car ride with a woman who worked in the oil industry. She said basically the same thing: that Venezuela was sitting on a lake of oil but not investing their massive revenue in sustaining or growing production. High oil prices weren’t going to last forever (Peak Oil hysterics not withstanding). Her particular field was using geological data to more accurately find undersea reserves of oil and she knew production was going to come back up and prices would fall. This would doom Venezuela because their production wasn’t going to be able to keep up: they were entirely dependent on high prices. When oil crashed, so would their economy.

Chavez was riding an asset bubble and claiming it proved his genius. Maybe if Venzuela has used their revenues to develop a thriving private sector of the economy, they could have withstood this. But they didn’t and oil was all they had. So we’re finally into the end game for Hugo Chavez’s “nobel experiment”.

I would like to think that people would learn a thing or two from the smoking crater in Caracas. But they never do. In fact, right now they’re wondering why the hell China is imploding as well. After all, Thomas Friedman’s been writing about sixteen columns a week on how superior their system is to ours. People like me have been pointing out that China has huge problems with corruption, an aging population and an economy that, while growing, had picked all the low-hanging fruit. We’ve been pointing out that China’s “explosive growth” was a result of having been dirt poor in the first place (it’s much easier to grow 10% of nothing that 10% of everything). Eventually, that engine was going to run out of steam. But, no: Very Wise People kept insisting that China had a found an alternative to the free market.

Just like Venezuela had.

And just like Japan before that.

And the Soviet Union before that.

And Germany before that.

Boy. These new economic ideas never seem to work out, do they?

The Biggest Corporate Welfare

Scott Walker — supposed conservative — has become just the latest politician to dole out a few hundred million in corporate welfare:

Last year, two New York City hedge fund owners purchased the Milwaukee Bucks, a down-at-the-heels N.B.A. team. The new owners smiled, took a victory lap around this handsome lakeside city and laid down their terms.

We’ll keep the Bucks in Milwaukee, the owners said, if the public foots half the cost of a $500 million arena. (The owners spoke of their “moral obligation” to the city and pledged $100 million toward their arena, with the remainder coming from other private funds.) N.B.A. officials acted as muscle for the owners and warned that if Wisconsin did not cough up this money within a year’s time, the league would move the team to Las Vegas or Seattle.

These opening feints were right out of the professional sports owner handbook. From start to desultory end, Milwaukee offered a case study in all that is wrong with our arena-shakedown age.

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Wednesday to subsidize the arena, which could cost the public twice as much as originally projected. Echoing the owners’ arguments, the governor proclaimed that the arena, a practice complex and a promised “entertainment district” would spur a renaissance for downtown Milwaukee and attract tourists. Income taxes paid by the pro athletes, the governor said, would fill local coffers.

The governor is repeating the standard mantra of stadium extortionists everywhere. It is categorical nonsense. Twenty years of economic research has shown that the economic benefits of stadiums are somewhere between non-existent and slightly negative. Sports teams mostly affect how people spend their money, not if. It is true that that taxes paid by the athletes would pay for a stadium … in a century.

The ability of extremely rich men who own extremely successful business to extract hundreds of millions in public welfare from cash-strapped cities and states is baffling. The lack of benefits of stadium building has been known for years, but sports teams, including my Braves, are still able to work this scam to perfection.

In reality, the power should flow the other way. Sports teams benefit from being in big cities way more than the big cities benefit from having sports teams. Do you think the Yankees would be making hundreds of millions of dollars if they moved to Louisville? They still got a billion dollars in subsidies for their stadium. Would the Milwaukee Bucks, sans subsidies, make more money in Vegas or Seattle than they do in Milwaukee? I doubt it. Seattle just gave up a basketball team and Las Vegas has … um … a lot more than a sports team going for it.

The most recent baseball team that moved was the Montreal Expos. That move benefited the Expos way way more than it benefited Washington. They went from an empty stadium and minimal revenue to a full stadium and overflowing coffers. Sports teams should be begging to play in the big markets, not holding them for ransom.

There are two problems that underlay the subsidies to sports. The first is plain ordinary corruption. It’s not just sports stadiums; cities invest tens of millions into “big projects” that are going “stimulate the economy” and “revitalize downtown”. When I was growing up in Atlanta, we heard those same arguments dragged out for Underground Atlanta, World of Coca Cola and the Olympics. Yet, somehow, it didn’t work. The area around the Olympic Stadium (later Turner Field) was still a dump. Sports teams have an advantage in terms of visibility and the ability to give guaranteed luxury seats to powerful politicians. But fundamentally, this shakedown goes on every day. And sports teams have become very skilled in doling out cash to local community groups and working lobbyists so that they can ride that well-greased track.

The problem that is more specific to sports teams is a basic prisoner’s dilemma. Everyone knows that cities would be better off not caving into the demands of sports teams. But the cities and states are afraid of losing their teams to other cities and states that give in. They could say “no” but it only works if everyone else does too. What you would need is for state and city governments to sign onto a compact: no city or state will subsidize a sports stadium … ever.

That won’t happen, of course, because politicians love this. Scott Walker is far, far from the only politician doling out this particular brand of corporate welfare. The political class love it because they get to claim credit for keeping a sports team in town and building a huge stadium. They love it because it sounds good to say your going to stimulate the economy, even if the stimulus never happens (see Obama, Barack). They get wined and dined by rich team owners and corporate sponsors.

It’s a win-win. The only people who lose are the taxpayers and, really, who cares what those plebs think?