The Elites and Inequality: The Rise and Fall of the Managerial Class Reply

By Neeva Parvini

Quillette

In analysing the political upheavals across Europe and America in the past several years, it has become customary to talk about ‘the elites’ and about ‘inequality’. This article will explore both concepts in political and socio-economic analysis, and posits that certain elites in the West need narratives of inequality to maintain their stranglehold on power. It concludes by suggesting that we are witnessing the passing of an old and increasingly irrelevant class of elites, whose wild attempts to cling onto the old order will see them lash out in unpredictable directions.

More…

Capitalism is Collectivist Reply

By Samuel Miller-McDonald

One of the central tenets of late-20th century consumer capitalism is the sanctity of the individual. Margaret Thatcher declared that “There’s no such thing as society, there are individual men and women.” Ayn Rand’s philosophy glamorized anti-social übermenschen who stand against everyone else. Friedrich von Hayek thought mild social welfare policy could be compared to Nazi fascism because they are both “collectivist.” Libertarians promote “individual freedom” with a level of brand discipline that would make Apple proud.

More…

Nobody ‘stealing’ your jobs, you spend too much on wars, Alibaba founder tells US Reply

Corporate welfare and imperialism are killing the US working class, says a Chinese billionaire.

Russia Today

Nobody ‘stealing’ your jobs, you spend too much on wars, Alibaba founder tells US
Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma believes that improper distribution of funds and hyper inflated US military spending, not globalization or other countries “stealing” US jobs, is behind the economic decline in America.

The Chinese business magnate earlier in January met with US President-elect Donald Trump, who has bemoaned the loss of American industry and jobs due to the outsourcing of labor to countries like Mexico and China. Ma, however, has a different view of what is behind the US economic decline.

The Real Villain Behind Our New Gilded Age Reply

The new robber barons are upon us. 2018 is so 19th century.

By Eric Posner and Glen Weyl

New York Times

The comedian Chris Rock once said, “If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets.” Populist revolts throughout the world may not count as street riots, but they do reflect disenchantment with not just our government but also liberal democracy itself.

In the past two decades, growth rates in the United States have fallen to half of what they were in the middle of the 20th century. The share of income accruing to the top 1 percent has nearly doubled since the 1970s, while the share of income going to all workers has fallen by nearly 10 percent.

These are the marks of our new Gilded Age. It’s tempting to blame impersonal market forces such as globalization and automation for widening inequality. But the true villain would be familiar to anyone who lived through the previous one: market (that is, monopoly) power.

Image
An 1880 political cartoon from a New York paper depicting Standard Oil — one of the great monopolies of the 19th century — as a “horrible monster, whose tentacles spread poverty, disease and death.”

The U.S.-China Trade Conflict Reply

I agree with this summary of the problem as far as US-China trade relations go, but I disagree that the solution is a return to retrograde 19th century mercantilism. The solution is to recognize that all forms of state interference in the economy have a net effect of upward distribution of wealth, and to act accordingly, i.e. by attacking the state from the bottom up.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

President Trump is right to confront China on the trade issue.  China has long been dumping materials such as steel on the American market, and it has been acquiring technology we have developed by means open and surreptitious.  Together, China’s predatory trade policies have devastated American manufacturing and largely destroyed our blue collar middle class.  Here in Cleveland we have seen whole factories bought by Chinese, torn down, and re-erected in China.  What were good-paying American jobs became Chinese jobs.

At the same time, America needs China at the grand strategic level.  To meet the threat posed by Fourth Generation war, we need an alliance of all states.  The core of such an alliance must be the three greatest powers, Russia, China, and the U.S.

Nor should we wish to damage China’s economy.  The world is teetering on the edge of a global debt crisis.  Such a crisis is most likely to begin in China, whose recent prosperity is built on a $15 trillion mountain of debt, much of it bad.  A debt crisis in China will quickly spread.  It is likely to end in a world-wide depression to rival that of the 1930s.  America, which like China continues to pile up both public and private debt, will not be exempt.  America tomorrow will be Greece today, with the added nightmare of hyperinflation as the federal government seeks to pay off its debts with worthless money.  That is a future we should do our utmost to avoid. 

I think there is a way out of this seeming dilemma.  What is it?  Managed trade.

READ MORE

Member of House Monetary Policy Committee Questions U.S. Treasury and Fed on Gold Activities Reply

Washington, DC (April 25th, 2018) – A U.S. Representative posed several pointed questions to the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury this week as to their activities involving America’s gold, including, apparently, efforts to “drive gold out of the world financial systems in favor of the Federal Reserve Note or Special Drawing Rights issued by the International Monetary Fund.”

In a letter dated April 24, Representative Alex Mooney (R-WV) wrote to Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, raising concerns about their policy to devalue the Federal Reserve Note, via “inflation targeting,” and requesting information about the United States’ use of, and position on, gold.

“The purchasing power of our currency has fallen some 97% since Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act in 1913, with an acceleration in the rate of decline occurring since the early 1970s when the final link to gold was severed,” wrote Mooney.

More…

Senator Ted Cruz’s Bill to Remove the Inflation Tax from Capital Gains Addresses a Symptom but Not the Cause Reply

Washington, DC (April 13, 2018) – U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has just announced he will introduce a bill to end taxes on capital “gains” that are simply a result of inflation.

Cruz’s inflation-indexing bill seeks to “expand economic growth and encourage more investment into the economy, helping create more opportunities for hardworking Americans.”

“If you invest a thousand dollars, and then ten years later you sell whatever you have invested in for two thousand dollars, right now, you are taxed on that full gain, ignoring inflation, and ignoring the fact that inflation has eaten away a big chunk of that gain,” Sen. Cruz said.

The Sound Money Defense League lauded the measure for acknowledging the problem created by the official policy of devaluing the purchasing power of the Federal Reserve Note “dollar” and for taking a reasonable first step to addressing it.

“Because of inflation, much of what is taxed as capital gains is not a real gain, but rather a nominal gain created by the Federal Reserve System through its policy of serial devaluation,” said Jp Cortez, Policy Director at the Sound Money Defense League.

“We praise Senator Cruz for advancing a bill that addresses a symptom of Federal Reserve currency debasement,” continued Cortez. “However, the fundamental solution is a return to sound money in America, i.e. gold and silver, as intended by our nation’s Founding Fathers.

“Until we strip central bankers of their abusive power to create money out of thin air, our nation’s investors, savers, pensioners, and wage-earners will be robbed of their assets through the insidious inflation tax.”

The Sound Money Defense League is an Idaho-based public policy group working nationally to bring back gold and silver as America’s constitutional money. Visit Soundmoneydefense.org for more information.

The Great Lesson of California in America’s New Civil War Reply

I agree with the author of this article that there’s likely no compromise in the Red/Blue tribal civil war, and that it will likely the Blue tribe that wins with the US increasingly becoming a one-party state under the Democrats. Although I don’t share his optimism about the outcome of all that given that his preferred model, California, is developing a Third World class system (see Joel Kotkin here and here).

By Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira

Medium

he next time you call for bipartisan cooperation in America and long for Republicans and Democrats to work side by side, stop it. Remember the great lesson of California, the harbinger of America’s political future, and realize that today such bipartisan cooperation simply can’t get done.

In this current period of American politics, at this juncture in our history, there’s no way that a bipartisan path provides the way forward. The way forward is on the path California blazed about 15 years ago.

In the early 2000s, California faced a similar situation to the one America faces today. Its state politics were severely polarized, and state government was largely paralyzed. The Republican Party was trapped in the brain-dead orthodoxies of an ideology stuck in the past. The party was controlled by zealous activists and corrupt special interests who refused to face up to the reality of the new century. It was a party that refused to work with the Democrats in good faith or compromise in any way.

The solution for the people of California was to reconfigure the political landscape and shift a supermajority of citizens — and by extension their elected officials — under the Democratic Party’s big tent. The natural continuum of more progressive to more moderate solutions then got worked out within the context of the only remaining functioning party. The California Democrats actually cared about average citizens, embraced the inevitable diversity of 21st-century society, weren’t afraid of real innovation, and were ready to start solving the many challenges of our time, including climate change.

READ MORE

How State-Capitalism Co-opts the Left 2

Some interesting observations from Troy Southgate on why the Left fails through co-optation, and why the Western world is drifting leftward culturally even as state-capitalism is tightening its grip.

“The concluding paragraph in ‘Cultures of Post-War British Fascism’ (Routledge, 2015), by John E. Richardson of Loughborough University, in a piece titled ´Cultural Marxism and the British National Party: Towards a Transnational Discourse´, is a sinister reminder of the crass naivety and inverted fascism of those who control political and historical discourse within modern academia. Personally, I do not even accept that ´Cultural Marxism´ exists, because whilst the Frankfurt School has clearly played a major role in the perceived subversion of traditional values and institutions, it has actively de-railed and co-opted Marxism to the extent that such concepts have been totally nullified and, thus, enabled the globalist establishment to facilitate its on-going policy of political, social and financial control.

 

More…

BOOM: Wyoming Ends ALL TAXATION of Gold & Silver Reply

Breakthrough Sound Money Bill Becomes Law Today with Wide Support

Cheyenne, Wyoming (March 14, 2018)  – Sound money activists rejoiced as the Wyoming Legal Tender Act became law today. The bill restores constitutional, sound money in Wyoming.

Backed by the Sound Money Defense League, Campaign for Liberty, Money Metals Exchange, and in-state grassroots activists, HB 103 removes all forms of state taxation on gold and silver coins and bullion and reaffirms their status as money in Wyoming, in keeping with Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution.

More…

Congressman Criticizes U.S. Mint for “Disappointing and Concerning” Inaction on Counterfeit Precious Metals Coins 1

By J P Cortez

U.S. Secret Service Also Frustrated with U.S. Mint’s “Lack of Supporting Action”

Washington, DC (March 12, 2018) – Congressmen Alex Mooney (R-WV) criticized the United States Mint for its “disappointing and concerning” lack of awareness or action on the growing problem of high-quality counterfeits of U.S. precious-metals coins entering the country from China and elsewhere.

In a letter dated March 6, Rep. Mooney took the U.S. Mint to task on its perfunctory one-page response to a prior letter that he and Congressman Frank Lucas sent last October asking for information as to whether, and to what extent, the U.S. Mint has taken proactive steps to protect the integrity of America’s minted coins, including reviewing and implementing the anti-counterfeiting measures already put in place by certain foreign government and private mints.

“The U.S. Mint’s response dated November 17, 2017, seemed to suggest a belief that the problem was not significant,” wrote Mooney in his March 6 letter.

“However, the U.S. Secret Service has since briefed my office about the extent of this activity and its frustration with a lack of supportive actions by other agencies, including the U.S. Mint.”

“The matter of counterfeits has been repeatedly raised as a serious issue in the coin industry press… As your team is aware, there have been anti-counterfeiting technologies on the market for some time – and many of these technologies have already been adopted by some of your ‘competitors,’” continued Rep. Mooney.

More…

Wyoming Legislature Passes Bill to End All Taxation of Gold & Silver Reply

By J P Cortez

Cheyenne, Wyoming (March 7, 2018) – Following a 44-14 vote in the Wyoming House last week, the Wyoming State Senate today overwhelmingly approved a bill which helps restore constitutional, sound money in Wyoming.

Wyoming Senators voted 25-5 to pass the Wyoming Legal Tender Act (House Bill 103), sending the measure introduced by Representative Roy Edwards (R-Gillette) to Governor Matt Mead’s desk. Sound money activists are already contacting Gov. Mead urging that he sign the bill.

Backed by the  Sound Money Defense League, Campaign for Liberty, and  Money Metals Exchange, HB 103 is a bill that removes all state taxation from  gold and silver bullionand reaffirms their legal tender status in Wyoming, in keeping with Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution.

Testifying before the Senate Minerals, Business, and Economic Development Committee, Sound Money Defense League Policy Director Jp Cortez made the case to Wyoming legislators that assessing taxes on purchases of gold and silver is unjust and undermines their constitutional status as money.

More…

Wyoming House Votes Overwhelmingly to Remove Taxation from Gold & Silver Reply

By J P Cortez

Cheyenne, Wyoming (February 27, 2018) – The Wyoming State House today overwhelmingly approved a bill which helps restore constitutional, sound money in Wyoming.

State Representatives voted 44-14 to pass House Bill 103 sending the measure introduced by Representative Roy Edwards (R-Gillette) to the Senate for a hearing.

Backed by the  Sound Money Defense League, Campaign for Liberty, and  Money Metals Exchange, HB 103 is a bill that removes all state taxation from gold and silver bullion and coins and reaffirms their legal tender status in Wyoming, in keeping with Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution.

Testifying before the House Minerals, Business, and Economic Development Committee last week, Sound Money Defense League Policy Director Jp Cortez made the case to Wyoming legislators that charging sales taxes on money itself is beyond the pale. In effect, states that collect taxes on purchases of precious metals are inherently saying gold and silver are not money at all.

More…

Idaho House Votes Overwhelmingly to Remove Income Taxation from Gold & Silver 1

By J P Cortez

Boise, Idaho (February 12, 2018) –  The Idaho State House today overwhelming approved a bill which helps restore constitutional, sound money in the Gem State.

State representatives voted 60-9 to pass House Bill 449 sending the measure introduced by House Majority Leader Mike Moyle and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Steve Vick to the Senate for a hearing in the Local Government and Taxation Committee.

Backed by the  Sound Money Defense LeagueIdaho Freedom Foundation, and  Money Metals Exchange, HB 449 is a tax-neutral bill which excludes gains and/or losses on the sale of precious metals coins and bullion from an Idaho taxpayer’s taxable income.

More…

The Bankruptcy of the American Left 2

Kudos to Chris Hedges. This is as good an analysis as I would ever expect from someone on the Left. This is a fairly straightforward Marxist analysis within a social democratic ideological framework. But he knows who the real enemy is.

By Chris Hedges

Truthdig

More…

Neither Statism Nor Corporatism Reply

A big debate exists between “free market” conservatives and libertarians, and leftists, socialists, progressives, etc. over “Who is worse? Governments or corporations?”

I am somewhere between the Marxists and the Libertarians on this. I agree with Libertarians that states have powers that private institutions typically do not have, like raising mass armies through conscription and taxes, police, prisons, capital punishment, nuclear weapons,etc. Even the largest, scummiest corporations like Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Pepsi, etc. do not have that kind of power generally. However, corporations have power that normal “private institutions” do not have. Amazon is not the same thing as a Star Wars Fan Club.

Corporations do not have the direct coercive powers of states, like the power of arrest and incarceration, but they do have the means of economic compulsion. The choice of whether or not to eat, have a roof over your head, or have healthcare is not on the level of whether to go to the Baptist or Methodist church, or join a chess club or the Cub Scouts. Corporations and banks are the economic arm of the state. The two can’t be separated as easily as both leftists and rightists seem to believe. The president, Congress, courts, state and city governments, corporations, banks, military, police, prison, media, educational system, NGOs, think tanks, foundations,etc are all part of the same ruling class/power elite apparatus.

Again, both leftists and rightists seem to miss this point, which demonstrates, IMO, a serious lack of knowledge and education about how “our system” actually works. My first year sociology students are more informed about this after reading the chapter on political sociology in the textbook and listening to my lecture on the topic (assuming they are in class, awake, sober and paying attention which is an awfully big and generally unreasonable assumption) than many seemingly serious political thinkers are.

Without the laws protecting the currency monopoly, we would not have the loansharking operations known as banks in their present form. Without eminent domain, transportation subsidies, and a range of other things, superstores like Wal-Fart would not be able to undercut local business on the level they do. Without transportation subsidies eo-commerce firms like Amazon would not be able to undercut conventional book sellers as easily. Without military protection of Coke’s and Pepsi’s mining operation in Latin America and Africa, they would have been expropriated by locals decades ago. Without intellectual property law, Silicon Valley, Hollywood and Microsoft would be toast. Without imperialist, mercantilist “free trade” being imposed on the developing word, not to mention subsidies to agribusiness plantations, the fast food giants like McDonald’s would be less able to compete with local farmers and traditional restaurants. There are many other examples but the point has been made.

MISES UK Conference 2018 – Leftism versus Humanity, Andy Duncan Reply

We are, I believe, at a turning point in history. I see a glimmer, the tiniest wee glimmer, of the ‘End of Socialism’. So what is socialism? At its core, it’s a religion of theft. And its God is ‘The State’. So what’s ‘The State’? Well, the state is a murderous organised criminal gang, aided and abetted by its intellectual bodyguards who get their cut by masking this criminality