The Free Market vs. Nationalization In Protecting the Environment

(See PRAGER U’s PLAYLIST) Here is an excerpt that the above video compliments.

It is a hallmark of socialist governments everywhere to nationalize heavy industries like petroleum, and, in the process, turn them into government-supervised environmental criminals unaccountable to property owners and consumers. For example, when privately owned British Petroleum (BP) caused an accidental oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it immediately established a $20 billion fund to pay future claims of damages and did everything it could to clean up the mess. It had legal obligations and its corporate reputation at stake. When the Mexican government’s oil company, Pemex, causes an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico—and there have been many—it claims “sovereign immunity” from any legal damages. In the first five months of 2015, Pemex was responsible for three catastrophic oil rig explosions in the Gulf of Mexico that caused several deaths, numerous injuries to oil platform workers, and generated air and water pollution. Pemex claimed that the explosions caused no oil spill, but satellite images taken by Greenpeace Mexico showed a two-and-a-half-mile long oil slick reaching from the exploded oil platform. “Pemex has proven time and time again that you cannot trust their statements,” said Gustavo Ampugnani of Greenpeace Mexico.

The United States is not immune from socialist-d riven environmental problems. Many utility compa­nies, for example, are government-owned with less than stellar results. In 2015, to take just one recent example, the people of Flint, Michigan, were alerted to a fright-cuing environmental debacle. The city government, supposedly in an effort to save money, switched its city’s water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River, despite the fact that the Flint River had long been known to be extraordinarily polluted. The Flint city government (and the state’s Department of Environ­mental Quality, according to a class action lawsuit) failed to properly treat water from the Flint River. The result was that city residents drank and bathed in water full of lead and other dangerous chemicals.

For many intellectuals, the attraction of socialism is that it is “rational”; it is a “planned” economy, planned by people like them. In reality, the environ­mental and economic results of socialism are a litany of disaster.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Problem with Socialism (New Jersey, NJ: Regnery, 2016), 120-121.

“Under the Axe of Fascism” ~ Gaetano Salvemini

Firstly, I have scanned and am posting this because I read a quote from a chapter via Thomas DiLorenzo’s “The Problem with Socialism.”gaetano_salvemini

I chose to post the entire chapter because I found some great connection to our governing principles and the direction of them decade-after-decade. I do admonish the serious reader to read Gaetano Salvemini’s bio over at WIKISalvemini became a socialist and a political activist. Although he later abandoned the Italian Socialist Party for independent humanitarian socialism, he maintained a commitment to radical reform throughout his life (source). One person wrote of their own belief something similar to what Salvemini believed:

  • As such I now refer to my beliefs as that of a humanitarian socialist because I have little care for the dogma of Marx, and yet I cannot abide with the current system. I do not believe we need a revolution to change things, any steps forward in a socialist direction through democratic means are perfectly acceptable to me no matter how small the changes. I use humanitarian because I want to see things get better for all, no matter their social status, even by the smallest of margins, all progress is a step forward no matter how small. Equality is the most pressing issue in society at the moment.

That is the typical Democrat line today  that is emboldening government to legislate and get involved in persons lives at an extremely fast rate. Here is the quote from DiLorenzo’s book:

…Mussolini promised that centralized government planning would “introduce order in the economic field,” as opposed to the supposed “chaos” of capitalism. Consequently, the Mussolini regime established government regulatory agencies that dictated orders to every business, every industry, and every labor union, all in the name of governmental “coordination.” It achieved the basic aims of socialism—government control of the means of production—while leaving corporate managers in place. Government control, of course, means taxpayers foot the bill. As Italian writer Gaetano Salvemini explained in his book, Under the Axe of Fascism: “In December 1932 a fascist financial expert… estimated that more than 8.5 billion Lira had been paid out by the government from 1923 to 1932 in order to help depressed industries. From December 1932 to 1935 the outlay must have doubled.” Massive government regulation and taxpayer bailouts of failing favored industries meant that Italian fascism, like every other form of socialism, was an economic failure.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Problem with Socialism (New Jersey, NJ: Regnery, 2016), 71.

I will highlight the quote from the text below. But if you read all of the below, please watch this respected Democrat legal scholar’s warning about the recent switch of power to the executive:

Here is the chapter entitled “The End of Laissez-Faire”

  • Gaetano Salvemini, Under the Axe of Fascism (New York, NY: Viking Press, 1936), 377-382.

[p. 377>] Those  who believe that Mussolini is leading Italy towards the left, cite the fact that the Fascist “corporative state” has done away with the doctrine and practices of laissez-faire. The Fascist corporative state not only cuts wages—although this fact is seldom mentioned—but it grants tariff protection to many industrial and agricultural products, gives subsidies to banks on the verge of failure and to industries about to collapse, obliges capitalistic concerns desirous of governmental aid to merge with other similar concerns, forbids the opening of new fac­tories, etc. Mussolini and his followers in Italy, as well as his admirers abroad, never touch upon economic topics without proclaiming that the policy of laissez-faire is dead forever. And, since the abolition of eco­nomic laissez-faire has been associated in Italy with the abolition of per­sonal rights, political liberties, and representative institutions, whoever rejects the doctrine and practices of laissez-faire is termed a Fascist, and state intervention in economic life is called Fascism. Therefore, Presi­dent Roosevelt becomes a disciple of Mussolini—though not so big as his master.1

This is a gross misconception. The sun rises daily in both Italy and the United States. This does not make Italy and the United States one and the same country. Mussolini and Roosevelt both intervene in the eco­nomic life of their respective nations. This does not put Mussolini and. Roosevelt in the same category as statesmen. While they have in com­mon the policy of economic intervention, they differ in this: that Mus­solini has repudiated not only economic laissez-faire, but has also sup­pressed personal rights, political liberties, and representative institutions. Roosevelt leaves those rights, liberties, and institutions intact. Fascism is political dictatorship. Economic intervention is not Fascism.

The Colbertists and Mercantilists who opposed the Physiocrats in the eighteenth century, and the “utopian” Socialists, [p. 388>] “scientific” Socialists, State Socialists, Christian Socialists, Protectionists, and Nationalists who attacked laissez-faire in the nineteenth century, would have been much surprised to learn that in the twentieth century a Mussolini would be born who would claim to have discovered, for the first time, a way of killing the doctrine of laissez-faire.

As for the practice of laissez-faire, no government has ever confined itself to playing the policeman of private initiative, as the laissez-faire school recommended. Free trade, which is the application of laissez-faire to international commercial relations, was the exception and not the rule in the nineteenth century. The English government, while it practised free trade in the nineteenth century, gave at the same time the earliest examples of social legislation; i. e., it intervened in economic life to protect the workers against the abuse of private initiative. During the World War the economic life of all countries was controlled by their governments, although the “Homo corporativus” of the Fascist “thinkers” was as yet unborn.

Under the pre-Fascist regime in Italy, the Government intervened so often in the economic life of the country that, when it rained, the people amused themselves by throwing the blame upon the “robber government.” The government built the railroads, not as revenue-bearing investments, but as an instrument of political unification. Marsh reclamation at the expense of the government was half a century old in Italy when Mussolini discovered it in 1928. Education in all its grades was either directly imparted or supervised by the government. Italian tariff policy from 1878 onwards became ever more intensely protec­tionist. The shipping companies were always obtaining subsidies of all kinds from the government for building, equipping, and sending out their vessels. Interventions multiplied during the World War. They diminished during the period between the end of the war and 1926, i. e., during the last four years of the pre-Fascist regime and the first four years of the Fascist regime. They began to multiply again during the crisis provoked by the revaluation of the lira; and during the world depression have assumed proportions reminiscent of the state capitalism of the war years.

The policy of intervention in economic life is characteristic neither of free, nor of despotic, nor of oligarchical, nor of democratic govern­ments. All governments in all periods have intervened, more or less thoroughly, in the economic life of their countries, if by no other fact [p. 379>] than that they have built roads, imposed taxes, and issued currency. Whether capitalists or proletarians, men are not favourable in an ab­solute sense either to laissez-faire or state intervention. They invoke such intervention when they expect to profit by it, and they repulse it when they foresee no advantage or fear a positive injury from its action. Signor De Stefani has judiciously remarked that the price of goods is always and everywhere the result of two factors: the private initiative of the producer and the environment which the politics of the government have created for production. Private initiative always is planned after taking into account pre-existing legislation. Private initiative independent of the government does not exist. And if “cor­porative” initiative is that which is developed by adapting oneself to rules imposed by law, it is clear that all private initiatives are “corporative,” and all states are “corporative” (Corriere della Sera, July 14, 1935). From these affirmations the conclusion can be deduced that Mussolini could have saved himself the trouble of inventing the corporative state.

The world nowadays teems with people who have fits of enthusiasm whenever they hear of state intervention, planned economy, five-year plans, and the end of laissez-faire. They do not care to ask who are the social groups in whose interests the state, i. e., bureaucracy and the party in power, is to intervene and plan. It is for them a matter of in­difference whether the laissez-faire of big business is limited in order to protect the little fellow and the worker, or whether the laissez-faire of the little fellow and the worker is sacrificed to the interests of big business. What matters is that private initiative should be shackled by some one and in some way. Yet the first question which should be asked when invoking the end of laissez-faire is precisely this: in the interests of whom should such abolition take place?

If one wants to answer this question in connexion with the Italian Fascist regime, one must take into account the following facts:

1. Italy has never seen anything similar to the type of planning ex­hibited by the government of Soviet Russia.2 When an important branch of the banking system, or a large-scale industry which could [p. 380>] be confused with the “higher interests of the nation,” has threatened to collapse, the government has stepped into the breach and prevented the breakdown by emergency measures. If there is a field in which planning is necessary and can be done without notable obstacles, it is that of pub­lic works; but even a Fascist expert is obliged to recognize that “they are begun as required without a general plan in the region where the depression is most severe.”3 The policy of the Italian dictatorship dur­ing these years of world crisis has been no different in its aims, methods, and results from the policy of all the governments of the capitalistic countries. The Charter of Labour says that private enterprise is re­sponsible to the state. In actual fact, it is the state, i. e., the taxpayer, who has become responsible to private enterprise. In Fascist Italy the state pays for the blunders of private enterprise. As long as business was good, profit remained to private initiative. When the depression came, the government added the loss to the taxpayer’s burden. Profit is private and individual. Loss is public and social. In December 1932 a Fascist financial expert, Signor Mazuchelli, estimated that more than 8.5 billion lire had been paid out by the government from 1923 to 1932 in order to help depressed industries (Rivista Bancaria, December 15, 1932, p. 1007). From December 1932 to 1935 the outlay must have doubled.

2. The intervention of the government has invariably favoured big business. As writes a correspondent of the Economist, July 27, 1935:

So far, the new Corporative State only amounts to the establishment of a new and costly bureaucracy from which those industrialists who can spend the necessary amount, can obtain almost anything they want, and put into practice the worst kind of monopolistic practices at the expense of the little fellow who is squeezed out in the process.

The small and medium-sized firms have been left to take care of themselves and have had to sink or swim without external assistance. On March 26, 1934, Mussolini stated that “three-quarters of the Italian economic system, both industrial and agricultural,” had been in need and had been helped by the government. This was an exaggeration. He should have said three-quarters of the big firms engaged in banking, industry, shipping, etc.4

[p. 281>] 3. In order to avert the bankruptcy of the big concerns that were on the verge of ruin, the government created certain public institutes to take over the shares of the rescued companies and to supervise the companies in question until they were again in a healthy condition. Mussolini described these institutes as “convalescent homes, where or­gans which have more or less deteriorated come under observation and receive appropriate treatment” (January 13, 1934). These institutes have been hailed as instruments of a managed economy. As a matter of fact, in none of the firms for whose rescue the government has imposed heavy sacrifices upon the taxpayers has the government introduced di­rect management. The governmental institutes merely keep in their coffers the shares of the firms which they have saved, and await the day when the market shows signs of recovery; when this occurs, the shares will again become private capital. To the big business men the govern­ment is what the Moor is in Schiller’s tragedy, Fiesco: when the Moor has committed the assassination, he has to disappear. After rendering the services asked by big business, the government must retire into the background and leave a free field to private initiative. The Charter of Labour says that state intervention in economic life, when private initia­tive proves insufficient, may assume the form of encouragement, supervi­sion, or direct management. But it also says clearly that private initiative is the most useful and efficient instrument for furthering the interest of the nation. Private initiative must be respected. Therefore, direct man­agement remains embalmed in the Charter of Labour together with the principle that labour is a social duty.5

The act of May 15, 1933, which empowered the Central Corporative Committee to forbid the creation of new factories or the development of existing plants, may be regarded as the ne plus ultra of government [p. 382>] intervention in business. Official communiqués announce from time to time that a certain number of permits have been granted or refused. But they never explain which kind of factories has been allowed or forbidden to be created or developed. Neither do they give the reasons why permits have been granted or refused. The great industrial magnates can be assured that a permit will never be granted to a company which wishes to build a new type of motor-car, to new sugar, hydro-electrical, or rayon concerns, or to new chemical plants, unless they give their consent. As a well-informed contributor remarked in the Economist, January 5, 1935, each time that the corporative system has functioned, “it has turned out to be nothing more than the most ordinary protec­tionism.”

But if one takes seriously Signor Bottai’s statements, in Corporate State and N.R.A., p. 623, one is led to believe that in the United States the result of the labour codes “seems to be the triumph of the inter­est of the individual industrial group rather than the triumph of the interest of the community,” whereas in Italy the corporations “are in a much better position than is any one isolated industrial group to regu­late not only particular group interest but also the interests of the com­munity as a whole.” In the United States “a corporate regulation of production in the Italian sense could only be achieved if, in the present codes substantial changes were made by permitting a much broader participation of labour.”

1. Mussolini, interviewed in the New York Times of Sept. 16, 1934, said: “America appropriated one of the Fascist principles when the new regime delegated more power to the executive head of the government.”

2. Resto del Carlino, Nov. 7, 1933: “If Fascism does not believe in economic liberty, it has always favoured and assisted the most powerful spring, the most creative force, of human activity: individual initiative. It is evident, therefore, that Fascist economic policy will not allow the corporations of category to become organs of a planned economy.”

3. Marcelletti, Aspects of Planned Economy, p. 334.

4. Signor Pirelli, in his address of Oct. 15, 1934, said: “Beyond the frontiers there has been a misunderstanding of the meaning of one of Mussolini’s phrases to the effect that three-quarters of the Italian economic system, both industrial and agricultural, is under the supervision of the state. Almost all the medium-sized and little firms and the great majority of slightly larger firms, with the exception of a few categories, are completely outside the sphere of the state’s healing activity.”

5. Excellent surveys of the economic policies of the Fascist dictatorship since 1926 have been made by Perroud, in the Revue d’Economie Politique, Sept.-Oct. 1933, and by Rosenstock-Franck, L’Economie Corporative, pp. 331 ff. This phase of Fascist action has developed completely outside the so-called syndical institutions created by the dictatorship, and also outside the National Council of Corporations and the corpora­tions themselves. The history of the relations between capital and labour under the Fascist dictatorship is only one chapter in the history of the intervention of the dictator­ship in the economic life of the country; it is not the whole history. It has been our purpose to write that one chapter alone.

Socialism Defined ~ Professor DiLorenzo

Here is the text of the above:

In order to have a “favorable” view of socialism one must have either forgotten what the entire world learned about socialism from the late nineteenth century on, or have never learned anything about it in the first place. The latter is obviously true of much of the younger generation.

Socialism started out being defined as “government ownership of the means of production,” which is why the government of the Soviet Union confiscated all businesses, factories, and farms, murdering millions of dissenters and resisters in the process. It is also why socialist political parties in Europe, once in power, nationalized as many of the major industries (steel, automobiles, coal mines, electricity, telephone ser­vices) as they could. The Labour Party in post-World War II Great Britain would be an example of this. All of this was done, ostensibly, in the name of pursuing material “equality.”

In the foreword to the 1976 edition of his famous book, The Road to Serfdom, Nobel laureate economist Friedrich Hayek wrote that the definition of “socialism” evolved in the twentieth century to mean income redis­tribution in pursuit of “equality,” not through govern­ment ownership of the means of production but through the institutions of the welfare state and the “progres­sive” income tax. The means may have changed, but the ostensible end—equality—remained the same.

Hayek’s mentor, fellow Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, explained in his classic treatise Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis,6 that the wel­fare state, the “progressive” income tax, and especially pervasive government regulation of business were all tools of “destructionism” in the eyes of the socialists of his day. That is, he observed that the proponents of socialism always employed a two-pronged approach: (1) the government takeover of as many industries and as much land as possible, and (2) attempts to destroy existing capitalist societies with onerous taxes, regula­tions, the welfare state, inflation, or whatever they thought could get the job done.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Problem with Socialism (New Jersey, NJ: Regnery, 2016), 4-5.

Why Progressives Need Control of the New Media

Firstly, for the sake of good conversation and clarity… we need [actually, Dr. DiLorenzo] to define socialism:

Here are some article headlines that will help encapsulate the quote:

FEC Democrat pushes for controls on Internet political speech ~ The FEC deadlocked in a crucial Internet campaign speech vote announced Friday, leaving online political blogging and videos free of many of the reporting requirements attached to broadcast ads — for now. While all three GOP-backed members voted against restrictions, they were opposed by the three Democratic-backed members…

Federal regulation of Internet coming, warn FCC, FEC commissioners ~ Democrats targeting content and control of the Internet, especially from conservative sources, are pushing hard to layer on new regulations and even censorship under the guise of promoting diversity while policing bullying, warn commissioners from the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Election Commission. “Protecting freedom on the Internet is just one vote away,” said Lee E. Goodman, a commissioner on the FEC which is divided three Democrats to three Republicans. “There is a cloud over your free speech.”…

[Editor’s note: that means blogs like mine of Gay Patriot’s could be considered “bullying” and to protect “freedom” they will be banned… the redefinition of the meaning of words is what allows these progressives to win in conversation.]

Leaked Memo: Soros Foundation Eyed Stronger Internet Regulation in TPP Negotiations ~ A leaked document from George Soros’s Open Society Foundations reveals the organization was seeking to influence the positions of Latin American governments in negotiating the Transpacific Partnership Agreement, or TTP…

You Media People Should Stop Reporting on Terrorism So People Don’t Know What’s Going On ~ …This new push by Kerry shouldn’t be surprising, after all it was just a few weeks ago when Kerry essentially argued the use of air conditioners and other appliances are bigger threats to the world than ISIS. Here’s the reality: Kerry doesn’t want the press giving attention to the issue of terrorism because it further exposes the failure of the Obama administration’s foreign policy over the past eight years….

[Editor’s note: you see, if the press would stop reporting on terrorism, then more people may actually take Kerry — and other politicians — serious when they say stuff like, “air conditioners… are bigger threats to the world than ISIS.]

Another example from a few years ago is the Fairness Doctrine. Just listen to Ed Schultz admit something in this radio excerpt (below-right ~ from an OLD POST).

You see, all this is a power play. In a society becoming increasingly more-and-more socialist… power and control over every aspect of life becomes more-and-more natural. Almost a necessity [inherent] on the part of the politician. Democrats think they are for freedom, but in fact they are the root cause for the constant attacks on freedom. That is, progressive liberalism… not classical liberalism.

And as a Christian I am concerned, ultimately, for truth [Truth]. Truth is what a free society strives for… and often getting to it means discussing all options. “Options” are anathema to socialism, to wit:

Because of the inevitable failure of socialist bureaucrats to “plan” an economy and a society better than the millions of individuals comprising the society can, there will be “dissatisfaction with the slow and cumbersome course of democratic procedure which makes action for action’s sake the goal,” wrote Hayek. “It is then the man or the party who seems strong and resolute enough ‘to get things done’ who exercises the greatest appeal” to the public. The public demands a “strongman” (or strongwoman) “who can get things done”—even if it means the abandonment of democ­racy.


Moreover, the socialist regime is likely to be popu­lated by “the worst elements of any society,” warned Hayek. Political demagogues (and socialists are always demagogues) have long understood that it is easier for the masses to agree on a negative program—a hatred of an enemy or “the envy of the better off” than on any positive program. In Bolshevik Russia, it was the capi­talists and monarchists and Christians and independent farmers and aristocrats who were the enemy, and against whom the masses could be swayed, and against whom violence could be inflicted in the name of “the people.” In the Europe of Hayek’s day it was the plutocrat and “the Jew who became the enemy….” “In Germany and Austria the Jew had come to be regarded as the represen­tative of capitalism,” and hence became the target of extreme hatred. In America, political demagogues tar­get “Wall Street” and the wealthy “one percent” as the objects of their hatred. [RPT’s addition: And the “fundamentalist that would dare question transgender normalization of bathroom use and female sports, etc.]

Hatred and violence, especially for the young, is justified in the name of idealism, however perversely understood. To a socialist, the ends justify the means (which is the reverse of traditional morality) and can justify any action desired by a socialist. To a social­ist, said Hayek, there is nothing “which the consis­tent collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves `the good of the whole.’”  This socialist mindset accepts if not celebrates “intolerance and brutal sup­pression of dissent,” and “the complete disregard of the life and happiness of the individual,” because the “selfish” individual does not matter; the socialist will argue that what he does is “for the good of the whole.”

In a socialist society, said Hayek, the only “power” worth having is political power, and to consolidate that political power government relies on propaganda, intimidation, and government domestic spying to dis­credit, bully, and eliminate possible opposition.

Socialism can lead to “the end of truth,” as Hayek called it, because socialists believe in indoctrinating people into “The Truth.” This is why socialist regimes have made us familiar with “reeducation camps” and rigid, totalitarian ideological conformity. Socialists believe that there are no legitimate, alternative view­points. Socialist propaganda must dominate the edu­cational system and the mass media so that, in Hayek’s words, “a pseudoscientific theory becomes part of the official creed” which “directs everybody’s actions.” Under socialism, “every act of the government, must become sacrosanct,” while minority opinions—or even majority opinions at odds with the official ideology—must be silenced and are demonized. This all sounds like a perfect definition of the “political correctness” that plagues American colleges and universities and which has gone a long way toward destroying aca­demic freedom both for students and professors.

“Truth” in a socialist society is not something to be debated; it is mandated and enforced by the Social­ist regime, from which there is no alternative and no appeal. Once socialist ideology takes over and respect for actual truth is destroyed, wrote Hayek, then all morals are assaulted because all morality is based on respect for the truth.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Problem with Socialism (New Jersey, NJ: Regnery, 2016), 55-58.

Worth your while as well is this commentary by Ezra Levant on Venezuela a little over a year ago.

Political Droughts (California)

WHY THIS POST? I am combining three posts into one for the person who wants to link the issue to a friend or family member in one post. Mind you this will make the post a bit long, but show clearly that the reason we are in a drought is because of the left in California kneeling before the alter of the [extreme] environmentalist political pressure groups. NOT to mention Jerry brown helped such people his first tenure (as well as other Democrat governors in California) in office to stop MULTIPLE water projects that would help prepare California for it’s droughts.

Please-please keep in mind that if you are one of the political skeptics that has a belief that greedy politicians are out to bankroll their time in office… think about this: would it behoove the State of California (primarily Democrat politicians) to fix the issue… or keep having eco-“type”-groups campaigning for and giving money to the Democrats Party in California AS WELL AS racking in tons of money via fines to a problem THEY created?

I mean, they have to pay for all the social programs in order to keep the their voters happy and voting Dem: California has 11% of the U.S. population, and about 30% of the welfare cases.

Prof. DiLorenzo

Droughts, of course, are a natural phenomenon, but governments often make them worse when government bureaucrats set water prices and allocate water usage. In 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown ordered city and county governments to enforce a reduction in water usage by 25 percent. Failure to do so would result in a $10,000 per day fine. This comes from a state that during the concurrent drought pumped several million acre feet of fresh water into the ocean in pursuit of government-mandated environmental goals.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Problem with Socialism (New Jersey, NJ: Regnery, 2016), 47.


My Fox LA op-ed:

…On March 24th of this year, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, the federal Government ordered a release of 5 billion gallons of water sent down the Stanislaus River, which eventually emptied into the ocean.

The purpose of this release or “pulse” as it’s called, was to raise the level of the river, so 23 steelhead trout could spawn.

So, in effect, just to allow 23 adult fish to possibly mate, water was wasted that could have supplied 150,000 Californians — for a year.

On April 10th, the Feds sent another 5 billion gallon pulse of water (enough water for another 150,000 Californians) down the Stanislaus, for the purpose of helping six steelhead trout reach the ocean and eventually return upriver to spawn.

It all just seems unbelievable.

In this terrible drought situation California finds itself in, it seems incredible to waste this massive amount of precious water.

It deifies common sense.

Billions of gallons of water being flushed to the sea.

This unfortunately is not the only example….

It’s hard to ask Californians to save water – when government is wasting it so needlessly.


Don’t forget: drought, fires, and wild weather were blamed on global cooling

THANKFULLY we got out of global cooling so we don’t have to worry about droughts, fires, or wild weather any longer ~ WHEW! That was a close call.

(Real Science, also see, RPT)

Here are excerpts from Kotkin’s article that Prager is reading from in the above audio (video):

The Big Idea: California Is So Over: California’s drought and how it’s handled show just what kind of place the Golden State is becoming: feudal, super-affluent and with an impoverished interior.

….But since the 1970s, California’s water system has become the prisoner of politics and posturing. The great aqueducts connecting the population centers with the great Sierra snowpack are all products of an earlier era—the Los Angeles aqueduct (1913), Hetch-Hetchy (1923), the Central Valley Project (1937), and the California Aqueduct (1974). The primary opposition to expansion has been the green left, which rejects water storage projects as irrelevant.

Yet at the same time greens and their allies in academia and the mainstream pressare those most likely to see the current drought as part of a climate change-induced reduction in snowpack. That many scientists disagree with this assessment is almost beside the point. Whether climate change will make things better or worse is certainly an important concern, but California was going to have problems meeting its water needs under any circumstances.

It’s not like we haven’t been around this particular block before. In the 1860s, a severe drought all but destroyed LA’s once-flourishing cattle industry. This drought was followed by torrential rains that caused their own havoc. The state has suffered three major droughts since I have lived here—in the mid70s, the mid ’80s and again today—but long ago (even before I got there) some real whoppers occurred, including dry periods that lasted upwards of 200 years.


But ultimately the responsibility for California’s future lies with our political leadership, who need to develop the kind of typically bold approaches past generations have embraced. One step would be building new storage capacity, which Governor Jerry Brown, after opposing it for years, has begun to admit is necessary. Desalinization, widely used in the even more arid Middle East, notably Israel, has been blocked by environmental interests but could tap a virtually unlimited supply of the wet stuff, and lies close to the state’s most densely populated areas. Essentially the state could build enough desalinization facilities, and the energy plants to run them, for less money than Brown wants to spend on his high-speed choo-choo to nowhere. This piece of infrastructure is so irrelevant to the state’s needs that even many progressives, such as Mother JonesKevinDrum, consider it a “ridiculous” waste of money.


This fundamentally hypocritical regime remains in place because it works—for the powerful and well-placed. Less understandable is why many Hispanic politicians, such as Assembly Speaker Kevin de Leon, also prioritize “climate change” as his leading issue, without thinking much about how these policies might worsen the massive poverty in his de-industrializing L.A. district—until you realize that de Leon is bankrolled by Tom Steyer and others from the green uberclass.

So, in the end, we are producing a California that is the polar opposite of Pat Brown’s creation. True, it has some virtues: greener, cleaner, and more “progressive” on social issues. But it’s also becoming increasingly feudal, defined by a super-affluent coastal class and an increasingly impoverished interior. As water prices rise, and farms and lawns are abandoned, there’s little thought about how to create a better future for the bulk of Californians. Like medieval peasants, millions of Californians have been force to submit to the theology of our elected high priest and his acolytes, leaving behind any aspirations that the Golden State can work for them too.

(CBS) …The Sorek plant produces more than 165 million gallons of fresh water and accounts for more than 20 percent of Israel’s water consumption, according to Udi Tirosh, a director at IDE.

Factoring in several other desalination plants, an astonishing 50 percent of the country’s drinking water now comes directly from the ocean – an amount capable of supplying the entire city of Los Angeles.

Plant officials also say it offers some of the world’s cheapest desalinated water because of new technology and a series of engineering improvements that have cut down the massive energy normally required to transform seawater into fresh water.

Fountains that were once forced to dry up now are flowing again….


Another MUST READ excerpt by a really well written article is this one by Victor Davis Hanson:

Just as California’s freeways were designed to grow to meet increased traffic, the state’s vast water projects were engineered to expand with the population. Many assumed that the state would finish planned additions to the California State Water Project and its ancillaries. But in the 1960s and early 1970s, no one anticipated that the then-nascent environmental movement would one day go to court to stop most new dam construction, including the 14,000-acre Sites Reservoir on the Sacramento River near Maxwell; the Los Banos Grandes facility, along a section of the California Aqueduct in Merced County; and the Temperance Flat Reservoir, above Millerton Lake north of Fresno. Had the gigantic Klamath River diversion project not likewise been canceled in the 1970s, the resulting Aw Paw reservoir would have been the state’s largest man-made reservoir. At two-thirds the size of Lake Mead, it might have stored 15 million acre-feet of water, enough to supply San Francisco for 30 years. California’s water-storage capacity would be nearly double what it is today had these plans come to fruition. It was just as difficult to imagine that environmentalists would try to divert contracted irrigation and municipal water from already-established reservoirs. Yet they did just that, and subsequently moved to freeze California’s water-storage resources at 1970s capacities.

All the while, the Green activists remained blissfully unconcerned about the vast immigration into California from Latin America and Mexico that would help double the state’s population in just four decades, to 40 million. Had population growth remained static, perhaps California could have lived with partially finished water projects. The state might also have been able to restore the flow of scenic rivers from the mountains to the sea, maintained a robust agribusiness sector, and even survived a four-or-five-year drought. But if California continues to block new construction of the State Water Project as well as additions to local and federal water-storage infrastructure, officials must halve California’s population, or shut down the 5 million acres of irrigated crops on the Central Valley’s west side, or cut back municipal water usage in a way never before done in the United States.

Victor Davis Hanson, “The Scorching of California: How Green Extremists Made a Bad Drought Worse,” The City Journal, Winter 2015 (Vol 25, No. 1), 82.


A great article by Hot Air. This is the end of it… to read the entire thing, click through.

…Southern California has been in the process of running out of water for decades (if not longer) and the current drought is simply amplifying the effects and hastening the decline. I’ve been reading dire (and accurate) predictions about this issue for decades. Nearly twenty years ago there were cautionary tales coming out which discussed the fact that the region was essentially a desert when settlers began moving in and even the relatively small population in the nation’s early history already dwarfed the available natural water supplies. (This is from 1998, long before the current drought cycle.)

Not that we aren’t preoccupied with the issue of future water supplies for a good reason. In the LA Basin alone, we have approximately 6% of California’s habitable land but only .06% of the State’s stream flow — yet we hold over 45% of the State’s population. And if the population projections are to be believed, the entire southland is “scheduled” to grow from our current 16 million to over 24 million people. When policy questions are asked about whether Southern California can support this level of growth, the issue of greatest concern is not traffic or air quality or even quality of life, it is water. And the predominant question asked is “where will this water come from?”

Our water fears are not new. Since the pueblo days of Los Angeles, the lack of local water resources has been seen as the primary problem for the southland’s economic future. All plans for the development of the region have hinged around schemes to secure new water supplies — a fact recognized by Carey McWilliams, the pre-eminent historian of the southland, who wrote in 1946 that “God never intended Southern California to be anything but desert…Man has made it what it is.”

Going back to earlier in the last century, we find that the original reason that Hollywood voted to join the municipality of Los Angeles in 1910 was to gain access to their water rights. The area was already being drained by the growing population and would require later river diversions to feed the thirst of the area. The addition of a drought is a much harsher blow for an artificially created habitable zone.

But is the drought situation something new? Actually, not only the western portion of North America, but central and South America have apparently been experiencing these same cycles for as long as human beings have been around. One of the earliest recorded, but most massive examples was the curious disappearance of the million plus strong civilization of the Mayans more than a thousand years ago. What happened to them? Yep… a series of crippling, decade long droughts.

Identifying annual titanium levels, which reflect the amount of rainfall each year, the Swiss and U.S. researchers found that the pristine sediment layers in the basin formed distinct bands that correspond to dry and wet seasons. According to the scientists, there were three large droughts occurring between 810 and 910 A.D., each lasting less than a decade.

The timing of the droughts matched periodic downturns in the Maya culture, as demonstrated by abandonment of cities or diminished stone carving and building activity.

Experts say the Maya were particularly susceptible to long droughts because about 95 percent of their population centers depended solely on lakes, ponds, and rivers containing on average an 18-month supply of water for drinking and agriculture.

And according to the lake bed core samples they’ve taken, the drought which took out the Mayans wasn’t a one time event.

Scientists have found that the recurrence of the drought was remarkably cyclical, occurring every 208 years. That interval is almost identical to a known cycle in which the sun is at its most intense every 206 years. Nothing suggests the Maya knew anything about the sun’s change in intensity.

See? If only those pesky Mayans hadn’t been burning all of that coal and oil to power their dirty, industrial factories they’d probably still be down there today chopping out the hearts of their enemies. Ah… good times, my friends.

Global Warming

Socialism’s Failure ~ Thomas DiLorenzo

Enjoying a wonderful book… and excellent primer on socialism and the free-market. The book is by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, and is titled, The Problem with Socialism. Here is an extended excerpt… I highly recommend the book:

…economist David Osterfeld wrote: “[S]ocialism, by its very nature, rewards sloth and indolence and penalizes diligence and hard work. It therefore establishes incentives that are incompatible with its self-proclaimed goal of material prosperity. The inherent dilemma of socialism is that individuals who respond ‘rationally’ to the incentives confronting them will produce results that are ‘irrational’ for the community as a whole.”

In the early twentieth century some socialists argued that socialism would somehow rather magically transform human beings, effectively taking the place of God to create a new “socialist man” who would no longer be acquisitive and interested in pursuing his own self-interest. This was long ago proven to be a farce, as it never occurred anywhere on earth despite the use of terror and mass murder by the former Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and other socialist regimes in vain attempts to “prove” their theory to be correct.


A second reason for the inherent and inescapable failures of socialism as an economic system is known in the economics profession as the “knowledge prob­lem.” This problem is associated with the writings of the Nobel prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek, who first explained the idea in a 1945 academic jour­nal article entitled “The Use of Knowledge in Society.” In that article Hayek explained that the kind of knowledge that makes the economic world go ’round is not just scientific knowledge but the detailed and idiosyncratic “knowledge of the particular circum­stances of time and place” that the millions of people who make up the world economy possess and utilize to perform their unique jobs and live their lives. No government planner could possibly possess, let alone efficiently utilize, such vast knowledge.

For example, consider something as simple as a slice of pizza. What would it take to make a pizza from scratch? Well, the first ingredient would be dough, which would require a wheat farm to raise the wheat that is turned into flour, which in turn is turned into pizza dough. The wheat farm requires all of the engi­neering know-how that is used to build all of the trac­tors and other farm equipment; farm tools, fertilizers, irrigation systems, and what not. Then there is the grain storage business and all that goes into it, along with the trucking industry that is used to transport the grain. The transportation industry requires gasoline or diesel fuel, which means the petroleum industry must become involved, including all of the sophisti­cated engineering knowledge that is used to extract petroleum from the earth (or the ocean floor) and refine it into gasoline.

So far, considering just one ingredient of a common pizza—dough—we learn that it requires the efforts of probably hundreds if not thousands of people from all over the world, all with very specialized “knowledge of the particular circumstances of time and place” that they use to do their jobs.

Then there is the tomato sauce, which requires a tomato farm and all the farm equipment, tools, fertil­izers, irrigation, transportation, and so forth that is involved in growing and marketing tomatoes. A dairy farm is then needed to produce milk, which is turned into cheese for the pizza. And on and on. The lesson here is that what makes the economic world—indeed, human civilization itself as we know it—possible is the international division of labor and knowledge in which we all specialize in something in the market­place, earn money doing it, and use that money to buy things from other “specialists.” All of this occurs spontaneously without any government “planner” consciously dictating how to make pizzas, how many to make, or where pizza parlors should be located.

As Adam Smith explained in his famous 1776 trea­tise, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, what motivates people to put forth all of this effort and cooperate with each other to give us “our meat and our bread” is not their selflessness or their love of their fellow man, but their concern for their own wellbeing. By pursuing their own self-inter­est in the free market, they coincidentally, as though led by an “invisible hand,” benefit the rest of society as well. As for socialism, it is worth repeating that no government planner or group of government planners with the most powerful computers available could conceivably possess and utilize all of the constantly changing information that is needed to produce even the most common and simple consumer goods, let alone sophisticated products like automobiles and computers.

The false notion that government planners under socialism could possess and make better use of all this information than the myriad consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, business managers, and other market participants in thousands of different industries was labeled “the pretense of knowledge” by Hayek in his Nobel prize acceptance speech in 1975. It was, said Hayek, the “fatal conceit” of socialists everywhere.

Hayek also pointed out how the free-market pricing system is indispensable as a tool of any functioning economy. Government-mandated prices, such as we have in socialist economies, produce nothing but chaos. In a market economy, prices are like road signs; in this case, they reflect the relative scarcity of goods and ser­vices, the intensity of consumer demand, and help us order our economic lives. When a product or service becomes more scarce consumers look for alternatives, which is one engine of innovation. When prices rise, investors are alerted to consumer demand and look to provide consumers with what they want at a lower price or to improve on the existing product or service.

Without market prices, rational economic decision making is impossible, which is another core reason for the failures of socialism to produce anything but pov­erty, misery, and economic chaos.


The most devastating critique of socialism is known as the “calculation problem.” Economist Ludwig von Mises explained it in his 1920 treatise, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, and in his later 1949 treatise, Human Action.” Socialists who advo­cate government “planning” with government owner­ship of the means of production face an impossible task, said Mises, because they have no idea how to go about arranging the production of goods and services without real, market-based capital markets (such as the stock market, private banking system, and so on). It is capitalist entrepreneurs, Mises wrote, the profes­sional speculators, promoters, investors, and lenders, who all have a personal financial stake in the invest­ments they make, who allocate capital in a market economy. Their indispensable tool is market prices, which guide them to invest in a rational, profitable way, meeting consumer demand. Under socialism, where government owns all the means of production and capital “markets” are nonexistent, and resources are allocated by bureaucrats to meet “plans” that might have no basis in economic reality.

In a capitalist economy, entrepreneurs have to meet consumer demand or go bankrupt. This doesn’t mean that capitalist markets are “perfect,” only that there is an enormously powerful incentive for private investors to invest their money in ways that will be rewarded by consumers. This incentive, however, is totally absent from a socialist economy, where it is not consumer demand (and the investors’ desire to make a profit and avoid a loss), but government direction, that allocates economic resources, which is why Mises deemed social­ism to be “impossible” as a viable economic system; it simply makes no economic sense.

Some seventy years after Ludwig von Mises first explained the impossibility of rational economic calcu­lation under socialism, the well-known socialist econo­mist Robert Heilbroner authored a momentous essay in The New Yorker entitled “The Triumph of Capital­ism,” in which he begrudgingly admitted that “Mises was right” about socialism all along. At the time, the seventy-year-old Heilbroner was the Norman Thomas Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research and had spent the previous thirty years of his academic career advocating and defending socialism. (Norman Thomas was a twentieth-century presidential candidate of the American Socialist Party.)

The point here is to note the irony of the renewed popularity of “socialism” today, especially among a segment of the college student population, when even longtime twentieth-century defenders of socialism such as Robert Heilbroner finally admitted that it was a massively failed and misconceived idea. To be a mod­ern-day advocate of socialism is to completely ignore all sound economic logic, more than a century of his­tory, and the words of honest socialist intellectuals like Heilbroner who were finally forced to confront reality after ignoring it for most of their adult lives.

The pervasive rallying cry of socialists is “equal­ity.” Capitalism creates too many inequities, they say. But they ignore the fact that all human beings are unique, and inequality is thus inevitable. The relentless socialist crusade for “equality” is not just a revolt against reality; it is nothing less than a recipe for the destruction of normal human society, as the Russian and Chinese socialists of the twentieth century, among others, proved. In the name of social­ist equality they destroyed their economies, condemned hundreds of millions to poverty, and executed millions of dissenters. And even after all that, they never cre­ated anything remotely like an egalitarian society.

Democratic-socialist countries that have not gone to these murderous extremes have nevertheless been content to live off of the capital accumulated from limited or previous free markets in their countries.

Socialists are less concerned about equality before the law, or equal rights to liberty, than they are with material equality, which, of necessity, has to be forced upon society by the state. Rabbi Daniel Lapin, a cler­gyman who is also an economic writer and speaker, points out that anything made by God, whether it be humans or stones (which can range from small pebbles to glittering diamonds of infinite variety) is unique; while things made by man, like bricks, can be made uniform. The essence of the socialist enterprise is to use the coercive powers of government to turn us all into identical bricks.

The desire to turn unique human beings into iden­tical socialist bricks explains why socialist regimes are often totalitarian—because it is the only way they can make a serious attempt to achieve their aims.

The socialist obsession with equality has always been at war with the division of labor and knowledge that comes naturally in a market or capitalist econ­omy. Ludwig von Mises noted that “The fundamental social phenomenon is the division of labor and its counterpart, human cooperation,” which, in turn, is what leads to economic progress and development. The uniqueness of every human being—our differing physical abilities, mental abilities and interests, different aptitudes, preferences ad infinitum—mean that we naturally tend to specialize in something, to focus on what we do best.

In a market economy, this allows us to specialize in what we do best, and get paid for it, and then trade with other “specialists” for the goods and services we desire. An obvious consequence of this is that a capi­talist economy creates an interconnected community that constantly strives to supply all of us with the best goods and services at the lowest price; it provides employment for people of all imaginable talents and abilities; it blows past subsistence economies (where one individual or family or village has to do every­thing itself); it creates wealth (which can support char­ity); and it encourages international trade, because not only are human beings unique, but so are their mate­rial and geographical resources. No government program, for instance, can ever change the fact that Saudi Arabia is a vast desert with huge supplies of oil, or that

the American Midwest contains millions of acres of some of the most fertile farmland on earth. The Saudis specialize in oil and sell it to Americans; Americans specialize in agriculture and sell food to the Saudis whose irrigation systems, as sophisticated as they are, still render agricultural production several times more expensive than what can be achieved by American farmers. The international division of labor, as much as a domestic division of labor, results in everyone becoming more prosperous. Another point is that the division of labor (and knowledge) has always spawned a different kind of human cooperation in the form of teamwork, for many tasks cannot be performed by single individuals. Hence, people tend to become spe­cialists not only in some skill or trade, but also as members of a team that produces goods and services. The division of labor and the pursuit of profit encour­age human cooperation.

In a market economy people are paid, and businesses earn profits (or incur losses) strictly according to how good a job they do in meeting consumer demand. A good definition of capitalism in this regard would be: “Give me that which I want, and I will give you that which you want.”

Inequalities of income are inevitable because of competition—some businesses and entrepreneurs do better than others. The key point, though, is that the market is fluid. Businesses can change or improve; workers can find more profitable enterprises or better ways to apply their skills.

To socialists, it is not just generic “inequality” that is wrong and has to be eliminated by government, there is also the so-called “Iron Law of Oligarchy.” This is the insight that in every organization or activity, a few people will typically emerge as the leaders or top pro­ducers. Thomas Jefferson called this the phenomenon of a “natural aristocracy.” We see it with “elite” athletes in professional sports; “top-of-the-chart” musicians and entertainers; Fortune 500 companies; lists of the top one hundred doctors, lawyers, or schools; and so forth. In a market economy, such “elite” individuals and institutions can demand higher wages or tuitions or whatever than the average. To most of us, there is nothing wrong with this. But socialists, and sometimes mere bureaucrats, often think differently.

The great H. L. Mencken noted that all govern­ments, not just explicitly socialist ones, are enemies of the most energetic, productive, and motivated. In his words:

All government, in its essence, is a conspir­acy against the superior man: its one per­manent object is to oppress him and cripple him. If it be aristocratic in organization, then it seeks to protect the man who is supe­rior only in law against the man who is superior in fact; if it be democratic, then it seeks to protect the man who is inferior in every way against both. One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among men. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives. The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos.

  • Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Problem with Socialism (New Jersey, NJ: Regnery, 2016), 22-36,