Capitalism

Capitalist Chile vs Socialist Venezuela

Venezuela is a basket case and mostly because of their rampant socialism.

You don’t have to look far for suitable comparisons between successful capitalist countries vs collapsing socialism.

The story of Chile’s success starts in the mid-1970s, when Chile’s military government abandoned socialism and started to implement economic reforms. In 2013, Chile was the world’s 10th freest economy. Venezuela, in the meantime, declined from being the world’s 10th freest economy in 1975 to being the world’s least free economy in 2013 (Human Progress does not have data for the notoriously unfree North Korea).

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Oxfam’s annual squeal about rich pricks

Every January Oxfam declare war on the wealthy and the left-wing, and their able helpers in the Media Party, set about repeating their spurious claims.

The bottom line though, is that capitalism, not Oxfam, has contributed more to defeating poverty. The Telegraph editorial points out why.

Every year it is the same story: in early January, Oxfam releases a report stating that a handful of people are, collectively, as wealthy as the planet’s poorest 50 per cent. Only the number of this gilded elite changes. In 2010 it was the richest 388 who possessed the same as all those benighted billions at the bottom. By last year that had fallen to 80. Now, Oxfam informs us with appalled incredulity, the figure is 62.

One may ask why the charity, which is committed to reducing poverty, is so interested in billionaires. Surely it is the fate of those living on next to nothing that it should be concerned with, not playboys with fleets of superyachts and private jets. Unfortunately, that would present a problem: for when Oxfam concentrates on statistics not politics, it concedes that “extreme poverty has halved in just 15 years”.

The reality is that Oxfam is not campaigning against poverty any more. It is campaigning against wealth, as if the global economy were a zero sum game, with a finite amount of cash to be divided among the citizens of the Earth. Yet that is patently not true. Capitalism generates wealth. Currently its fruits are lifting people out of extreme poverty at unprecedented rates. To everybody but Oxfam, this represents extremely good news. The charity, however, gives the impression that it would be happier if everyone were poorer, as long as we were all equally poor.

Oxfam’s annual report is designed to make us all blush. We are supposed to feel ashamed that we can live in a world of such manifest, astonishing inequality. But it is outcomes that matter, not equality. To pretend otherwise really is shameless.

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Buuuuuurn!

 

Charging to view Karl Marx’ grave – excellent.

On a summer visit to the grave of Karl Marx, Ben Gliniecki found that he would have to pay £4, or about $6, to pay respects to the man who sounded the death knell for private property.

Mr. Gliniecki, a Marxist, said no.

“Personally, I think it is disgusting,” the 24-year-old political activist said. “There are no depths of irony, or bad taste, to which capitalists won’t sink if they think they can make money out of it.”   Read more »

Daniel Hannan on poverty and why Nelson Mandela was wrong

Daniel Hannan is a thinker, and an eloquent speaker.

He has challenged Nelson Mandela’s thinking on poverty and explains why Mandela was wrong.

“Like slavery and apartheid,” Nelson Mandela told 20,000 people in Trafalgar Square ten years ago, “poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”

They were inspiring words, and the crowd duly went wild. But the old man was talking utter, unadulterated bilge. Poverty is not “man-made”: it is the primordial condition of all living organisms, including humans. It is wealth that is “man-made”.

As usual Hannan is straight into it without hesitation.

Perhaps 100,000 years ago, our distant fathers hit on the idea that, instead of having to do everything themselves, they could specialise and exchange. If Ug is particularly deft at making flint weapons, let him stay behind and concentrate on what he’s good at while the rest of the tribe hunts and brings him a share of the meat. While we’re about it, Og from the neighbouring clan has a rare gift for making fishhooks: why not trade some of them for Ug’s flints?

From that simple discovery came, in due course, wheels and printing presses and spinning jennies and skyscrapers and antibiotics and the Internet. The greater the number of people drawn into a commercial nexus, the more each individual can concentrate on improving his or her particular métier. The hours which we need to work in order to support ourselves fall, giving us more free time – both to employ in leisure pursuits and to come up with yet more ingenious inventions. People became longer-lived, more literate, more comfortable, better-fed, taller, more numerate and more numerous. They also, incidentally, become more peaceable: far from being ruthless or selfish, capitalism joins men and women together in a cats-cradle of mutual dependency. That, in a nutshell is the history of homo sapiens.

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The real reason behind the UN’s continued scare campaign over global warming

Here is a clue for you…the UN isn’t interested in saving the planet from a non-existent threat, it is actually interested in controlling the planet, and one of their top officials has proved it.

The alarmists keep telling us their concern about global warming is all about man’s stewardship of the environment. But we know that’s not true. A United Nations official has now confirmed this.

At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.

Referring to a new international treaty environmentalists hope will be adopted at the Paris climate change conference later this year, she added: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”

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How does the common good get served without socialism?

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Avatar / Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Dune Entertainment, Ingenious Film Partners

One of our new commenters, who signed off as “26 and wondering” left this on a video post last night where it wouldn’t have had the exposure it deserves

Collective humans:

I am as far away from socialism and communism that you can throw me at this stage of my life. I am not earning mega bucks. I am not a trust fund baby. I am paying my way happily in the knowledge if I keep going I will be sweet. I genuinely hold the belief that you should take control of your life.

HOWEVER. Read more »

The liberal-left’s extraordinary capacity for cognitive dissonance

James Delingpole examines “the liberal-left’s extraordinary capacity for cognitive dissonance” at Breitbart.

You may ask why is this relevant, but it most certainly is. We can learn a great deal by watching politics in other countries. Nothing Labour or the Greens are doing here is unique or groundbreaking, they simply follow trends overseas.

And so we can learn about the inherited cognitive dissonance of the leftwing.

On this week’s Radio Free Delingpole podcast I discuss with Peter Foster of Canada’s Financial Post an issue which has long puzzled me: the liberal-left’s extraordinary capacity for cognitive dissonance. Or, if you want to put it more bluntly, for epic self-delusion.

I’m thinking, for example, of Ed Miliband’s proposals to introduce rent controls, despite copious historical evidence that this measure always and inevitably has exactly the opposite effect of the one intended: creating more housing scarcity; hurting the poor.

I would include in the same category several of the measures introduced by the Cameron administration: the 0.7 per cent of GDP ring-fenced for foreign aid, despite all the evidence that the billions of dollars bombarded on Africa have had the unintended consequence of leaving some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa as poor (sometimes poorer) than they were 50 years ago; the minimum wage which – as any sane economist can tell you – is a tax on jobs and therefore a disincentive to employers to hire labour; the “green jobs” the Coalition’s drive for renewables has allegedly created, even though they are in fact nothing more than Potemkin jobs, entirely dependent on taxpayer subsidy, and therefore a grotesque misallocation of scare resources which would otherwise by directed towards real, lasting jobs in areas of the economy which create genuine value.

All this, as Thomas Sowell would put it, is Basic Economics. So why do so many politicians – from the Obama left to the Cameron faux-right – not get it? And why, for that matter, do all those voters who applaud their statist measures and urge still more government intervention not get it either?

This is the question asked by Foster in his superb new book Why We Bite The Invisible Hand: The Psychology of Anti-Capitalism (Pleasaunce Press). And he comes up with some fascinating answers.

My favourite is his suggestion – though he puts more politely than I do – that people on the liberal-left are insufficiently evolved; they are too much in thrall to their “monkey brains” – monkey brains which of course those of us on the right possess too but with one crucial difference: we’re clever enough and advanced enough to allow the logical part of our brains override them.

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Go back to sledging Putin Charlie

Prince Charles should stick to sledging Vladimir Putin rather than returning to his crazy talk.

Prince Charles has called for an end to capitalism as we know it in order to save the planet from global warming.

In a speech to business leaders in London, the Prince said that a “fundamental transformation of global capitalism” was necessary in order to halt “dangerously accelerating climate change” that would “bring us to our own destruction”.

He called for companies to focus on “approaches that achieve lasting and meaningful returns” by protecting the environment, improving their employment practices and helping the vulnerable to develop a new “inclusive capitalism”.

The Prince was taking part in his first major UK public engagement since sparking a diplomatic row last week by likening the behaviour of Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to Adolf Hitler.    Read more »

Even Christmas isn’t safe from the lefties peddling their mythology

God loves a trier, and The Guardian is certainly trying and stretching with this article from Larry Elliot where he tries to tie Santa and Christmas into his socialist horror story about capitalism.

Up in the frozen north, it’s the busiest time of the year. At the world’s biggest toy production and distribution centre, the workforce is under pressure to fill the long list of outstanding orders to meet the Christmas Eve deadline. Outside, the snow lies crisp and deep and even, but inside Santa’s workshop the pace never slackens.

Actually, workshop is a misnomer. It was the rebranding consultants who came up with the idea of a “workshop” after a whistleblower revealed that Santa’s little helpers were underpaid, overworked and suffering from a range of stress-related illnesses. The workshop is actually the world’s biggest warehouse, millions of square feet of aisles filled with toy trains, books and computer games.   Read more »

Labour Party Insider Trading

iPredict, being a (fairly) pure market mechanism, has a pretty good track record in predicting political outcomes.

An analysis on the site today has some interesting evidence that our lefty mates, no friends of the market economy and fierce opponents of capitalism and gambling, may not be too averse to having a punt on a sure thing when they are in the know – behaviour that would get them a term in the slammer (or a smack on the wrist with a wet bus ticket) if they were caught in the real world.

“The first observation to make is this: key stocks concerning Shearer’s leadership didn’t start reacting to media coverage on November 10th, but a day earlier on November 9th. The first stock to move were ‘David Shearer to depart as Leader of the Labour Party in 2013’ which rose from 32% to a high of 57% before settling at around 46%.  ‘Shearer to be Prime Minister before 2015’ experienced a similar trading pattern, falling from 37% to 26% before settling on 28%. These are very sharp movements.

The most likely explanation for this is insider trading by sources within media circles or the Labour Party.”