Why YOU Love Capitalism

Do you use an iPhone? Watch Netflix? Listen to Spotify? Then you love capitalism and can’t stand big government. How do we know? Jared Meyer of the Foundation for Government Accountability explains.

The New Trail of Tears

American Indians are the poorest of all of America’s ethnic groups. Why? After all, the government has granted them massive reservations and created entire agencies to look after them. Well, maybe that’s why. Naomi Schaefer Riley, author of “THE NEW TRAIL OF TEARS,” explains.

John Stossel interviews some American and Canadian Indians regarding how the Federal Government hampers the entrepreneurial spirit in the Native populations and how capitalism [free-markets] — and NOT social programs and handouts — make Indians rich and self-sufficient.


Federal Hand-Outs

vs.

Entrepreneurship


(Above video description) Imagine if the government were responsible for looking after your best interests. All of your assets must be managed by bureaucrats on your behalf. A special bureau is even set up to oversee your affairs. Every important decision you make requires approval, and every approval comes with a mountain of regulations.

How well would this work? Just ask Native Americans.

The federal government is responsible for managing Indian affairs for the benefit of all Indians. But by all accounts the government has failed to live up to this responsibility. As a result, Native American reservations are among the poorest communities in the United States. Here’s how the government keeps Native Americans in poverty.

Indian lands are owned and managed by the federal government.

Chief Justice John Marshall set Native Americans on the path to poverty in 1831 when he characterized the relationship between Indians and the government as “resembling that of a ward to his guardian.” With these words, Marshall established the federal trust doctrine, which assigns the government as the trustee of Indian affairs. That trusteeship continues today, but it has not served Indians well.

Underlying this doctrine is the notion that tribes are not capable of owning or managing their lands. The government is the legal owner of all land and assets in Indian Country and is required to manage them for the benefit of Indians.

But because Indians do not generally own their land or homes on reservations, they cannot mortgage their assets for loans like other Americans. This makes it incredibly difficult to start a business in Indian Country. Even tribes with valuable natural resources remain locked in poverty. Their resources amount to “dead capital”—unable to generate growth for tribal communities.

Bake My Satan Cake – Dammit!

The below is a clip from Tucker Carlson discussing with a Satanist their organization wanting a “Satanic cake” (upside down Cross and all) baked by a Christian baker. I include a short clip as well of a Christian trying to get an anti-gay cake baked, as well as Steven Crowder in Muslim owned bakeries trying to get a same-sex wedding cake baked. In each case I support the business owner.

Here is another example of how the “Cake-Fascists,” as GAY PATRIOT calls them, cannot legislate conscience — via THE DAILY SIGNAL:

The Christian baker in Colorado who was sued for declining to make a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding reception received a strange request last month: Design and bake a cake celebrating Satan’s birthday.

“I would like to get a quote on a birthday cake, for a special event,” the email request to baker Jack Phillips, sent Sept. 30 and exclusively obtained by The Daily Signal, reads. It continues:

It is a cake that is religious in theme, and since religion is a protected class, I am hoping that you will gladly bake this cake. As you see, the birthday cake in question is to celebrate the birthday of Lucifer, or as they [sic] are also known Satan who was born as Satan when he was cast from heaven by God.

The request for Phillips to quote a price for the cake also asks for an “upside down cross, under the head of Lucifer.”

The incident exemplifies the complexity of government laws mandating that those in creative occupations violate their religious beliefs in serving clients or customers.

This is a danger that lawyers for Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, say they’re raising before the U.S. Supreme Court, which in June agreed to take the baker’s case.

Phillips gained nationwide attention after declining to make the wedding cake for the gay couple, and eventually being found guilty of discrimination by a Colorado state agency and the courts.

Phillips has told The Daily Signal and others that his Christian faith not only doesn’t allow him to design and make cakes celebrating same-sex unions, it prevents him from designing cakes that involve such elements as witchcraft or explicit sexuality……

Here is an example of how this has even infected the last Libertarian presidential nomination process (from my post entitled: “Christians Discriminated Against By Gay Coffee Shop Owner“):

The point is that when the government gets into the weeds on HOW a person SHOULD think on matters regarding their own business… you will have chaos. This mom just ended up making it herself. Which, sorry, you may have ta do in a free country from time-to-time.

Now, WWRPTD? (What Would RPT Do). If I owned a bakery, I would bake cakes for everyone. Why? Because it would be a way to get people into a Christian environment to witness to. For instance, if a Satanist came into my hypothetical store and wanted me to bake a cake… I would. If he or she asked why a bakery such as mine with Christian symbols would do so, I would open up my visible bible to 1 Corinthians 8:4-8

Now concerning eating food offered to idols: We know that no idol is real in this world and that there is only one God. For even if there are “gods” in heaven and on earth (as indeed there are many so-called “gods” and “lords”), yet for us

there is only one God, the Father,
    from whom everything came into being
        and for whom we live.
And there is only one Lord, Jesus the Messiah,
    through whom everything came into being
        and through whom we live.

But not everyone has this knowledge. Some people are so accustomed to idolatry that when they eat food that has been offered to an idol, their conscience becomes contaminated because it is weak. However, food will not bring us closer to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat food that has been offered to an idol, and no better off if we do.

(ISV)

I had the pleasure (God’s Sovereignty) of being in the right-spot-at-the-right-time to lead a Satanist in the sinners prayer. I brought him to HEBREWS 10:4-10, and discussed why Satanism is so concerned about blood in sacrifices when it was done once-for-all-time. I would love to build relationships in order to do this. BUT, that is me! A business owner can do his business how he or she pleases.

Are Medical Insurance/Big-Pharma Company Profits… Evil?

R & D Costs for “Big Pharma”

This comes via ChEMBL-og:

Came across a link on Google+ to a post to a Forbes article (via Greg Landrum) and thought I would post a link here. It’s a simple economic analysis of the costs of Large Pharma drug discovery. Very simple, money in vs. drugs out. There is however a lot of complexity behind the numbers, for example – quite a few of the drugs will have been licensed in, the transaction costs for these in-licensing events have probably been factored in, but what about all the other burnt capital in the biotech companies that supplied the in-licensed compounds – this will inflate the numbers further. Of course the majority of these costs are incurred on the failed projects, the wrong targets, the wrong compounds, or the wrong trials.

To put the AstraZeneca number of $11.8 billion per drug in some national context (equivalent to £7.5 billion) – this is almost 17 years of the entire BBRSC budget (£445 million in 2011), or only two drugs from the entire investment portfolio of the mighty assets of the Wellcome Trust (~£14 billion in 2011) – that’s right, not two drugs from their annual research budget, but two drugs by shutting down the investment fund and putting it all into drug discovery and development (at Astra Zeneca ROI levels).

Scary numbers, eh? Are public funding agencies up to the task? Do we really know what to do differently? There’s also a POST on the same Forbes article on the In THE PIPELINE BLOG.

(An updated Forbes article is HERE)

Getch-yur POPCORN/PEANUTES Here!! (Antifa Edition)

(Language Warning)

THE DAILY CALLER caught up with Gesualdi, who says his experiences reveal how humorless the Antifa protesters are and how dangerous they can be — especially when there are no alt-right protesters for them to fight against.”

Here is Gesualdi’s “Hitler Rap” put to a beat:

More from the DC:

….“As a comedian I am obviously a big free speech advocate, which is why this recent wave of protests bother me,” he says. “Though most of the protesters have good intentions and show up simply looking to exercise their free speech rights, many come for the sole purpose of starting fights and causing destruction. That’s not how we solve problems in America.”

“What I do is bring a bit of absurdism to the venue, to hopefully keep things lighthearted while also showing how ridiculous it is to characterize these protests as if they are the battlegrounds of a civil war,” says the comedian. “These kids may think they are badass street soldiers fighting against the forces of evil, but it’s hard to maintain that narrative when you’re being heckled by a peanut vendor.”

Gesualdi says that unlike the last time, the protest site was “almost devoid” of right-wing voices, many of whom were chased off by the large Antifa turnout, or because they were warned not to go by the organizer.

“I saw one group of people being chased into the police station by a group of leftists,” he says. “There’s actually a great video of this on LiveLeak, which pans over to me hawking my wares.”

The comedian says that the normal Berkeley protest crowd was peaceful, with “lots of people laughing, asking for pictures, etc.” A trio of Juggalos — fans of Insane Clown Posse — even treated Gesualdi to a bottle of Faygo and he got to sing along to “I’m Gonna Let It Shine” with older hippies.

“It was only when I got too close to the Antifa camp that things started to go south,” he says, describing how he was attacked by two separate black-clad groups.

“One group of Antifa-types took issue with the tiny American flags attached my vendor’s tray of snacks,” he described footage that was captured on his video. “Declaring them symbols of colonialism and white supremacy, they ripped them off and burned them in front of me. I was surprised they were so brazen about it, and parts of the crowd even cheered as the flags burned.”

Gesualdi was confronted by another set of Antifa later on in the day, when one of them declared him a “troll” and encouraged the group to accost him. “Knowing this could end badly I attempted to walk away from the situation, but they followed behind, ringing a cowbell for some reason. Very intimidating.”

He speculates that the reason he was targeted was because few right-wing voices had come out for them to attack, so they were happy to go after him. “They lobbed some rotten tomatoes at me, but thankfully, none of them could throw worth a damn. They blared rape whistles in my ear and got some tomato juice on my shirt, but stormed off in anger when I just ignored their nonsense and kept trying to sell them bags of popcorn.”

Gesualdi says that what really surprised him about the protest was how many people there were going on about the “evils of capitalism.”

“They seemed too much like a stereotype of the classic clueless communist who knows capitalism is evil but isn’t really sure why,” he says. “One young man tried seriously explaining to me that people didn’t want to pay because they were socialist, though I actually had commenters from socialist countries tell me that of course they pay for their food and that kid was a clueless idiot.”

“Others told me to cease my selling and ‘seize the means of production.’ I will have to look into seeing if the state is willing to acquire me a free peanut factory.”

Gesualdi says he won’t let the bad experience deter him from going to future rallies if it allows him to keep exposing their absurdity, but he worries that Antifa will paint a target on his back if he becomes a regular face.

“The Berkeley police were nowhere to be seen on both occasions I’ve gone and I honestly believe it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed at one of these things,” he says.

The War On Cars/Freedom

There is a war against cars in America. Regulators want Americans out of cars and onto trains, buses, and bicycles. Why? Because of what cars represent — freedom. Automotive expert Lauren Fix (“The Car Coach”) explains.

Ahhh…the freedom of being able to hop in your car and drive down a highway! When you hit the road, one thing is clear: cars embody the American spirit.

The Free Market Works

Did you know that since 1970, the percentage of humanity living in extreme poverty has fallen 80 percent? How did that happen? Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, explains.

This post is connected with another that is similar in it’s point.

Here, Thomas Sowell writes about the pernicious lie that comes from the Left by speaking about a great book by Arthur C. Brooks from AEI. What prompted me to post this is the indoctrination of our youth in this Facebook post that is horribly wrong in many respects:

“But seriously, to claim that we live in a post racial era is the epitome of absurdity. Although i’m all about forging unity we can’t do so while ignoring the reality of racial injustice, white supremacy, and national oppression in this country. Malcolm X perhaps said it best when he said you can’t have capitalism without racism. The capitalist system thrives off of racism and the division it creates amongst the masses of people. To fight tooth and nail against this order exploitation requires a relentless struggle against racism,white privilege, and all forms of bigotry.”

BONO on the free markets:

Here is Thomas Sowell’s review of Arthur Brooks book… there is the pencil example by Nobel winning economist Milton Freidman as well as an Artur C. Brooks presentation at the end. Econ class 150 is in session:

More frightening than any particular beliefs or policies is an utter lack of any sense of a need to test those beliefs and policies against hard evidence. Mistakes can be corrected by those who pay attention to facts but dogmatism will not be corrected by those who are wedded to a vision.

One of the most pervasive political visions of our time is the vision of liberals as compassionate and conservatives as less caring.

[….]

A new book, titled Who Really Cares by Arthur C. Brooks examines the actual behavior of liberals and conservatives when it comes to donating their own time, money, or blood for the benefit of others. It is remarkable that beliefs on this subject should have become conventional, if not set in concrete, for decades before anyone bothered to check these beliefs against facts.

What are those facts?

People who identify themselves as conservatives donate money to charity more often than people who identify themselves as liberals. They donate more money and a higher percentage of their incomes.

It is not that conservatives have more money. Liberal families average 6 percent higher incomes than conservative families.

You may recall a flap during the 2000 election campaign when the fact came out that Al Gore donated a smaller percentage of his income to charity than the national average. That was perfectly consistent with his liberalism.

So is the fact that most of the states that voted for John Kerry during the 2004 election donated a lower percentage of their incomes to charity than the states that voted for George W. Bush.

Conservatives not only donate more money to charity than liberals do, conservatives volunteer more time as well. More conservatives than liberals also donate blood.

According to Professor Brooks: “If liberals and moderates gave blood at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply of the United States would jump about 45 percent.”

Professor Brooks admits that the facts he uncovered were the opposite of what he expected to find — so much so that he went back and checked these facts again, to make sure there was no mistake.

What is the reason why some people are liberals and others are conservatives, if it is not that liberals are more compassionate?

Fundamental differences in ideology go back to fundamental assumptions about human nature. Based on one set of assumptions, it makes perfect sense to be a liberal. Based on a different set of assumptions, it makes perfect sense to be a conservative.

The two visions are not completely symmetrical, however. For at least two centuries, the vision of the left has included a belief that those with that vision are morally superior, more caring and more compassionate.

[….]

The two visions are different in another way. The vision of the left exalts the young especially as idealists while the more conservative vision warns against the narrowness and shallowness of the inexperienced. This study found young liberals to make the least charitable contributions of all, whether in money, time or blood. Idealism in words is not idealism in deeds.

Here is Brooks short presentation


Some Later Additions:


Conservatism Doesn’t Need a Qualifier Like, “Compassionate”

Dennis Prager asks Arthur Brooks a question regarding “‘Compassionate’ Conservatism.” Arthur Brooks responds that we do not need a qualifier to explain something so obvious.

Dennis talks Arthur Brooks, professor of public administration at Syracuse University, Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism. (Originally broadcast December 28, 2006) One should see my main page for economic issues for more on these matters:

Nicole Gelinas On Free-Market Capitalism vs. “State Capitalism”

In an excellent article entitled:

(Via CITY JOURNAL), it is noted [well] that what many people THINK is the free market is anything but that:

…Free-market capitalism isn’t the same thing as radical libertarianism. Stan Veuger, an American Enterprise Institute scholar and economics lecturer at Harvard, dismisses what he calls “the anarcho-capitalist ideal”: an economy with no regulations and zero taxation. “There are places like Somalia that score well” on such purist definitions of free markets, he points out. To work well, capitalism needs “an environment where people can concentrate on being productive,” rather than, say, having private armies to assure personal safety. Free-market capitalism requires laws and rules, more than ever, now that more people live in close proximity in dense cities than ever before. Human activity leads to disputes, and disputes can be solved, or at least moderated, by resolutions that govern behavior. We often forget that markets don’t make broad public-policy decisions; governments do. Markets allocate resources under a particular policy regime, and they can provide feedback on whether policies are working. If a city, say, restricts building height to preserve sunlight in a public park, free-market actors will take the restricted supply into account, raising building prices. This doesn’t mean that the city made the wrong decision; it means that the city’s voters will risk higher housing prices in order to preserve access to sunlight. By contrast, a city that restricts housing supply and restricts prices via rent regulation is thwarting market signals—it takes an action and then suppresses the direct consequences of that action.

[….]

In critical areas of the economy, though, markets are in retreat. Behind the veneer of free-market governance is a deep expanse of government involvement in massive areas of the economy, such as the housing market and health care. People don’t make decisions on housing and health-care concerns every day, but when they do, they would benefit from the information that markets provide about whether they can afford a large house or whether a particular drug is worth the price. Government distortion of these key markets has scrambled these signals.

An annual congressional report, “Estimates of Federal Tax Expenditures,” gives insight into how Washington manipulates supply and demand in these sectors. Consider house prices. This year, Washington will pay homeowners $99 billion in forgone taxes to borrow money to purchase or refinance a house or to sell that house and reap the profit. Americans will buy or sell about $600 billion worth of houses this year. Government subsidy, then, represents nearly one-sixth of this market. The federal government also provides a guarantee for most mortgages, thanks to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-supported mortgage companies that benefited for decades from an implicit government guarantee before they got an explicit guarantee during the 2008 financial crisis.

These subsidies have fired the growth of the housing industry. Between 1975 and 1979, the U.S. Treasury paid out $102.6 billion in mortgage-interest breaks in today’s dollars. Between 2015 and 2019, the Treasury will pay out $419.8 billion in such tax favoritism—a more than fourfold rise, nearly ten times the population increase. The hike is particularly extraordinary, considering that in the late 1970s, the annual interest rate on a mortgage was 9 percent, twice what it is today. Taking today’s lower rates into account, Washington has increased the mortgage subsidy more than eightfold.

It’s no surprise that mortgage debt has soared, to $9.5 trillion, from $2.6 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars in 1981. Back then, mortgage debt constituted 31 percent of our nation’s GDP. Today, it makes up nearly 53 percent. McCloskey, who thinks that free markets are generally healthy, acknowledges that “there are examples of the price signal not coming through.” The mortgage-interest deduction is “a silly idea,” she says, yet “very hard to change.”

Indeed, government subsidy is a critical factor in whether families can afford to purchase a home, and what kind of home, how large, and in what zip code. The home-mortgage deduction, then, helps determine how people live—yet we barely notice. Few of us consider how the government shapes one of the biggest decisions we’ll ever make, or how the U.S. government’s presence in the housing market maintains the value of our homes.

Housing subsidies that distort individual decisions also affect the biggest investment market in the world: the American housing market is worth $27.5 trillion—more than a tenth of the world’s $250 trillion in total wealth. The government, not capitalism, has determined the value of this market, which, in turn, helps determine the value of other markets: money that goes into this 11 percent of the global asset market can’t go into the other 89 percent. Home values also affect consumer spending. Someone whose home value is rising will feel freer to take on credit-card debt, for example.

Perhaps American house prices should be lower, and people should put their savings into companies that create products and jobs. Or perhaps house prices should be higher, accounting for a growing population, and people should live in smaller homes, spaced more closely together. In turn, perhaps the price of Chinese stocks would be higher, reflecting future growth, if Chinese investors did not divert money into U.S.-backed American housing debt. No one knows, because market signals get obscured.

One can agree or disagree with government jiggering of the housing market. What one cannot do is call it “free-market capitalism.” It is better described as democratic socialism. Americans have embraced government control of one of the world’s most important economic activities.

Free markets are under attack in health care, too, and the trend began long before Obamacare. Critics of our dysfunctional health-care system often blame capitalism for its excesses and distortions. But the health-care “market,” like the housing market, is responding rationally to government signals.

Washington provides massive tax breaks to health care. This year, as noted in Congress’s tax-expenditure report, the government will provide $143.8 billion in federal tax breaks for employers’ coverage of workers’ health insurance—more than the housing-tax break. The health-care subsidy has increased ninefold after inflation since the late 1970s. This tax break means that workers don’t see the full cost of their health-care coverage and thus cannot respond, when the price of health care rises, by demanding lower costs.

In providing Medicare to seniors and Medicaid to poorer people, Washington is the nation’s largest health-care customer, accounting for more than 30 percent of the United States’ annual $3 trillion in health-care spending. The largest customer in any market affects the entire market. Medicare and Medicaid stipulate how much the federal government will pay to hospitals and doctors for visits and surgeries. If hospitals and doctors can’t recover their costs and make an adequate profit under this price schedule, they charge private customers more. Medicare also distorts the price that drugmakers can charge for prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical companies know that their biggest customer is the government of the world’s richest sovereign nation. They have no way of setting market prices.

This past summer saw a health-care episode that, depending on your point of view, might have looked like an example of successful free-market capitalism or uncontrolled capitalist greed. Drugmaker Mylan said that it would increase the price of a decades-old product, the EpiPen allergy shot, to $600. That was the latest in a string of price hikes that have made the EpiPen 400 percent more expensive than when Mylan purchased the product a decade ago. Mylan has quintupled EpiPen’s revenues during that period, Bloomberg News reported, partly through savvy marketing. At one time, doctors prescribed EpiPens only to people with histories of severe allergic reaction. Now, people with more moderate allergies ask their doctors for EpiPens as a preventive measure.

The would-be free-market defense is that Mylan is making a decent profit, giving some people what they need (a lifesaving drug and medical device) and giving others what they want (a sense of security). Under this argument, Mylan can take that profit and invest it in new drug development. The would-be free-market criticism is that Mylan is enriching its executives by taking advantage of people who have no choice but to buy this product.

The reality: Mylan doesn’t operate in a free market, so one can neither praise nor blame markets for the EpiPen price. Mylan could increase prices and sales over a decade because its “customers” weren’t directly paying—most people buy their EpiPen through subsidized private insurance or through Medicare or Medicaid. Mylan could also boost EpiPen sales by petitioning the government for special benefits. Through lobbying, as Bloomberg notes, the company pushed 47 states to stock the pens in schools. And when federal regulations decreed that people should carry EpiPens in packs of two, the company stopped selling single EpiPens.

Lastly, Mylan lacks a competitor. If Mylan were operating in a competitive market, it could not have imposed these price increases, regardless of whether it wanted to invest the profits in new drug research or line its executives’ pockets. If Penguin Books tried to charge $300 for a copy of A Tale of Two Cities, another bookseller would price the tome at $8, and that would be the end of that.

Just as political forces helped shape Mylan’s pricing, politics, not markets, made the company retreat from its latest price increase. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton singled out the drugmaker as “the latest troubling example of a company taking advantage of its consumers.” But Mylan wasn’t exploiting consumers; it was only responding to perverse government signals.

Just as in housing, one can agree or disagree with the U.S. government’s policies in health care. One can argue that the government should pay high prices for drugs to signal to global investors that they can expect big payoffs for taking risks. Or, one can maintain that the government should use its negotiating power to lower prices, as European nations do. One cannot claim that either policy is a free-market one; both are social-democratic positions.

The government’s hand is increasingly busy in other areas of society, too, preventing market signals from coming through. In life’s decisions, getting an education is right up there with buying a house or choosing the right cancer medicine. Yet prospective students don’t determine the free-market value of a particular school’s curriculum through the amount that they are able and willing to pay. Instead, the government distorts this market. Washington provides $2.1 billion a year in tax subsidies for student loans. Just as important, it keeps the interest rates on these loans low by directly lending money to students. This cheap money has inflated the cost of education by giving students more borrowed money with which to pay and by removing any incentive for schools to control expenses. Over the past decade alone, the amount of debt that students owe has more than doubled after inflation, from less than $600 billion in 2005 to $1.4 trillion in mid-2016.

Just as in health care, America saw a striking example of how government, not the market, governs education over the summer. Just before the start of the fall term, ITT, a for-profit college with 35,000 students, said that it was going out of business. It wasn’t for a lack of customers; rather, it was for a lack of federal money backing those customers. Washington had demanded that the company pay much more to participate in the federal student-loan program, to account for, as the government put it, “significant concerns” about ITT’s “integrity, financial viability, and ability to serve students.” The college couldn’t pay, and it shuttered its classrooms. When a school cannot stay open without ceaseless infusions of government-guaranteed tuition payments, it is not operating in a free-market environment (and neither are its for-profit and nonprofit competitors). Just as with housing and health care, one can agree or disagree with government control of the higher-education market. One just can’t call it a free market….

(read the WHOLE article… it is worth it)