The end of an era:

France’s Socialists – who are reeling from this year’s damaging electoral defeat – are so broke they are putting their famed Paris headquarters up for sale.

The opulent Left Bank townhouse known as “Solferino,” acquired in 1981, was always a bit awkward as the headquarters of a party that touted equality.

Awkward? Opulence for the political leader and the bureaucrats is a feature, not a bug, of government-controlled economies.

 

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New, from that Utopian paradise where government controls everything and everyone is happy, comes the Venezuelan Diet. Its based on eating rabbits:

President Nicolas Maduro has revealed a plan to combat Venezuela’s food crisis by encouraging people to breed rabbits for meat, but acknowledged a “setback” when participants in a pilot project adopted the bunnies as pets.

Yes, pets with bows:

The minister for urban agriculture, Freddy Bernal, had handed out baby rabbits to 15 communities as part of a trial, Mr Maduro recounted to much laughter from assembled ministers.

“When he returned, surprise! The people had the bunnies with little bows and they were keeping them as pets,” he said.

Whoops. Can’t have that. Those dumb people, don’t they know they’re supposed to eat them! Ah, the political leaders in charge have identified the problem:

Mr Bernal blamed a “cultural problem,” explaining to Tuesday’s cabinet meeting: “A lot of people give names to rabbits, put on a bow, they take it to their house, they take the rabbit to sleep in their bed.”

But, those innovative politicians and bureaucrats have the solution! Thought control:

But, he insisted, Venezuelans must adjust their attitudes towards rabbits and see them “from the point of view of the economic war”.

. . .

Outlining his plan to reposition the rabbit’s image, Mr Bernal said “we need a publicity campaign on radio, TV, in newspapers, in cartoons, everywhere, so that the people understand that rabbits aren’t pets but two and a half kilos of meat”.

Venezuelans “have been induced to eat what interests the Empire” but needed to change their patterns of consumption, Mr Bernal said, adding that goats could also be a useful alternative to cows, while pigeon peas could be substituted for animal grain.

Okayyy. That’ll do it. See how innovative politicians and bureaucrats become problem solvers! And all with the help of sympathetic newspaper reporters, in this case Hannah Strange who calls the publicity campaign “this plan to reposition the rabbit’s image”. Reposition, how capitalistic.

All that’s needed now is a catchy video to advertise it. Here’s one. Oh wait, advertising is a capitalistic imperial thingy. Can’t have that. But it works! See how much more weight people lose with the Venezuelan diet compared to the South Beach, Atkins, and Seto diet methods?! Amazing.

 

From Sunday’s broadcast of The Revolution with host Steve Hilton on FOX News:

CHARLES MURRAY: Well the simplest case from the conservative point of view is the current system is awful and replacing it all by just giving people money is better, that was Milton Friedman’s argument who made the case a long time ago. That’s part of my reason. But the main reason is, well I’ve got a couple, one is that I think we’re going to see a revolution in the job market in the next 20 or 30 years that are going to require us to define what the meaning of a job is. I’m in a minority on that.

. . .

In my plan, I give $10, 000 a year of disposable income, health care is taken care of otherwise. Okay, on $10,000 a year, you can’t really make much of a decent living. If you get a job you could easily be above the poverty line, but guess what? If you’re a couple that’s $20,000 plus whatever you can get from a low-paying job. And all at once if that low-paying job pays $15,000 a year for each other you, that’s 30 plus 20, that’s 50, and you’re moving toward a middle-class lifestyle.

I’m open to the concept of a Universal Basic Income. The details matter. For my support, I’d need to see most other welfare programs replaced by the equivalent dollar amount from the UBI program. Also, many regulations should be cut back that supposedly buffer employees from job loss as a result of trade or technology, and other regulations.

This approach let’s the market process operate based supply and demand, and removes the distortions that arise from government intervention.

Warren (D-MA) on James Cramer’s program on CNBC:

Few lawmakers had stronger words for Wells Fargo in the continued conflict surrounding the big bank’s malpractices than Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

“This is a company that, from the very top, has made it clear there’s no accountability here,” the Democratic senator told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

While Wells Fargo’s earnings remained intact, the bank is said to have pressured employees to open unauthorized accounts for customers, an issue that was recently found to have affected more customer accounts than previously thought.

“This is not about serving consumers,” Warren said. “This is all about, quarter by quarter by quarter, how to juice the reported profits. That’s what mattered at Wells Fargo.”

What a revelation! I’ll let you in on a little secret. Firms have plans to boost sales and profits in the long-term and medium-term as well as the short-term.

Hi gang, I was out but now I’m back.

Dan Mitchell has an evidence-filled post about more effective approaches to infrastructure spending rather than being done at the federal level. State and local governments and private operators do a better job. Bonus: the U.S. does not suffer from “crumbling” infrastructure.

The United States Air Force is bleeding manpower at a rate so alarming Air Force leaders have described it as a ‘quiet crisis.’

The private sector is finally winning a battle against the all-too powerful government. This is one way to trim down the political aspirations of global domination.

Here.