A great an-cap libertarian vs. left-civil libertarian discussion.
A timely video from the great Carey Wedler.
I generally agree with Kyle’s criticisms of the Republicans and neoliberal Democrats, but this Berniebro ode to statism is a bit difficult to watch. No, Kyle, we don’t need more central planning in response to coronavirus. Actually, the trend has been that decentralized decision-making processes have been more effective than centralized ones. Individual countries have been more effective at controlling the virus than global or transnational institutions. Individual states have often been ahead of the feds, and some localities have been ahead of the states. The private sector has frequently been ahead of the government, and labor unions have often been ahead of both the private and public sectors. Non-state and non-commercial activist organizations have frequently been ahead of everyone. Quarantines and social distancing are largely being enforced through voluntary means or social pressures. Meanwhile, the central government has primarily responded by facilitating a ruling looting spree while throwing a few crumbs to the peasants.
Don’t vote for any of these creeps. Boycott the ruling class parties. If you must vote, then vote for a fringe party (Libertarians, Greens, Socialists, Constitutionalists, Transhumanists, whomever).
By Olivia Harden
I am an avid Bernie Sanders fan, but after the results of Super Tuesday and the primaries on March 10, I am becoming increasingly nervous about his chances. I can’t say for sure that Biden will win the nomination, and I have not entirely lost hope. But as things stand now, the math is not in Sanders’ favor. I’ve started to prepare myself for the increasingly high possibility that Biden will be the Democratic nominee.
My first election year was in 2016, and I was inspired by Sanders, who favored radical policies that I didn’t even know were possible. I had long accepted my fate as someone on the cusp of being a millennial or Gen-Zer and existing as a Black, queer woman who was going to drown in student debt. The job market is a mess. Climate change will kill us all. Racism in America will continue to thrive. At 18 years old, I didn’t know I could ask for much better. But Sanders has been fighting for America to be better his entire political career.
A dream fulfilled for the Red Tribers.
President Donald Trump said he’s considering an enforced quarantine for parts of New York and New Jersey to curb the U.S. coronavirus outbreak.
Trump told reporters he had spoken with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Saturday morning before departing the White House to send off a Navy hospital ship bound for New York City from Norfolk, Virginia.
The president said he’d rather not impose a quarantine on the region, but that the country may need it. Asked about his ambition to urge many Americans to return to work by the U.S. Easter holiday on April 12, Trump said “we’ll see what happens.”
Crises usually produce a wave of idiocy, from the bottom to the top.
New York Post
President Trump on Friday signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package as the pandemic devastates the nation’s economy, sickens more than 103,000 Americans and killed nearly 1,700 others.
“This will deliver urgently needed relief to our nation’s families, workers and businesses and that’s what this is all about,” Trump said as he signed the largest stimulus deal in U.S. history.
Here is a breakdown of this historic bailout:
Not a penny for the money-changers. Mutualize the banksters.
By Zachary Warmbrot
Tucked inside Congress’ $2 trillion economic rescue package for America is sweeping authority for the government to come to the aid of the one industry that has insisted it doesn’t need a bailout: the big banks.
Lenders that the government saved in the 2008 financial crisis have been touting the strength of their balance sheets heading into the coronavirus pandemic. But Congress is backstopping them anyway with a provision in the bill that would give the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. power to guarantee checking accounts beyond the $250,000 in deposit insurance that it now offers bank customers.
It’s time to syndicalize the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.
By Jessica Corbett
As the number of global COVID-19 cases soared past 254,000 and the death toll topped 10,000 on Friday, concerns persisted—particularly in the United States—about healthcare costs related to the ongoing outbreak, limited testing and protective medical supplies, and how corporations may try to cash in on the public health crisis.
The Intercept‘s Naomi Klein, author of the 2007 book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, warned earlier this week in a video about “coronavirus capitalism” that the U.S. and other governments are “exploiting” the COVID-19 pandemic “to push for no-strings-attached corporate bailouts and regulatory rollbacks.”
Klein took to Twitter Friday to highlight a New York Times report about how—although President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed legislation that orders free testing for COVID-19—even people with health insurance could face high medical bills, which experts worry will deterring people from seeking treatment.
Burger King places Passover blood on its doorposts?
By Grace Perry
Burger King? More like Burger Reasonable Distributor Of Capital to the Working Class. Burger King UK announced this week that it won’t be paying their quarterly rent checks, instead using that cash to keep its employees paid. CEO Alisdair Murdoch didn’t mince words when he told BBC Radio’s Today show about his plans: “We are not intending to pay our rent.” Okay, Alisdair! Noted!
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued stay-at-home orders to the British Isles, similar to what we’re experiencing in the States. Though restaurants can still do takeout and delivery, Burger King is shuttering stores for the duration of the lockdown. The CEO of the British chain Yo! Sushi (what?) made the same choice as the Burger King, telling The Financial Times that not paying rent is “not really a choice. It’s just a basic piece of economics.” Teach me about economics, Yo! Sushi guy!
The current public health/economic crisis is definitely a reminder of why I am an anarchist. Thus far, the responses to the situation by the various factions of the state/ruling class/power elite have been as follows:
Republicans: “The ruling class is suffering. Let’s bail them out! Maybe give a little bit of stuff to the peasants as well so they don’t pitchfork us.”
Neoliberals: “Let’s see if we can be even bigger scumbags that the Republicans! Aim high!”
Conventional Democrats: “We can use this bailout thing to get some more loot for our preferred categories of parasites!”
Libertarians: “Do nothing! Let the state-corporate economy take care of it. That’s how the free market works!
Leftists: “Expand the welfare state! Nationalize the means of production! New Class Uber Alles!”
As I have said before, the appropriate anarchist response to this situation is to initiate a debt strike (i.e. no more payments to state-supported institutions, e.g. banks, corporations, landlords, universities, utility companies, medical-industrial-complex, etc.) and demand reparations from the state/ruling class (i.e. reclamation/liberation of previously looted resources).
And we don’t want just forty acres and a mule. We want the whole damn plantation.
Tom Woods is joined by Professors Joseph Salerno and Peter Klein join me to discuss the economics of the extraordinary episode we are currently living through, as well as the likely consequences of how the federal government and the Federal Reserve are responding.
A relevant quote from the comments thread:
“Capitalism requires the State in order to operate. The modern state has been reconfigured to serve neoliberal needs. Also the govt is not a household, it is the Bill Gates of the economy . When the govt cuts spending it impacts spending in the private economy. Plus the financialisation of the economy means Capital is free to operate outside borders & is not required to invest in its country of origin. Tax cuts benefit owners of Capital. There is no guarantee that they will invest domestically.”
No, it actually sucks.
By Tal Axelrod
A measure that will suspend federal student loan payments for six months is part of the sweeping coronavirus stimulus package that President Trump signed into law Friday afternoon.
As part of the legislation intended to blunt the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, the measure mandates that lenders cease all payments on the loans through the end of September.
Interest will not accrue and non-payment will not impact credit scores in the interim period.
The law also requires lenders to alert borrowers that the payments have been suspended within 15 days of the bill’s signing and resume alerts on August 1 that the payments will resume.
People still can choose to pay down the principal on their loans over the next six months.
Private student loans, which account for roughly 12 percent of all education loans in 2018-2019, according to the College Board, are not impacted by the law.
Great Depression Two.
By Chris Kahn
Nearly one in four U.S. adults said they have been laid off or furloughed during the coronavirus outbreak, yet a bipartisan majority of Americans wants businesses to remain closed to slow the spread of the deadly virus despite its impact on the economy, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
The March 26-27 opinion poll, released Friday, also showed that the public is much more likely to heed the advice of doctors and local government officials than President Donald Trump.
Trump, who predicted in February that the virus would quickly disappear “like a miracle,” has communicated an uneven level of concern for the disease, which has infected more than 85,000 people in the United States and killed more than 1,200.
The president took a hardline approach earlier this month when he urged people to gather only in small groups. Later he appeared to change course, telling reporters that he would like businesses to reopen by Easter, on April 12.
The poll showed that most Americans do not want that.
Eighty-one percent said the country should continue social distancing initiatives, including “shelter at home” orders, “despite the impact to the economy.” This includes 89% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans.
Jubilee! Jubilee! “Hell, no, we won’t pay!”
By Laura Grace Tarpley
Many employees are out of work or facing reduced hours as US businesses temporarily close to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Lenders are empathizing with people who are struggling to pay their bills during the pandemic.
If you reach out to companies, you may be able to pause any of these eight bills – and make life a little less stressful during the outbreak.
1. Memberships and subscriptions
It may seem like we’re beating a dead horse by recommending you cancel memberships and subscriptions to save money. But while people might normally tell you to cut out frivolous expenses like streaming services, that’s not necessarily the best move here.
After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of time at home. Is now really the time to delete your Netflix account?
Instead, think about expenses that will no longer be relevant while you’re self-isolating. If your gym is closed indefinitely, pause your monthly payments. If you’re a season ticket holder to an amusement park that has closed or for a sports team whose season has been canceled, call the ticket office to discuss cancellation.