Against Left and Right


NPR:

President Trump says he is ready to declare the nation’s opioid crisis “a national emergency,” saying it is a “serious problem the likes of which we have never had.”

President Trump is showing he is a progressive and getting sucked into the swamp. Progressives left and right declare “War on something” where that something is whatever fits. Trump’s declaration is a variation on the War on Drugs. His adminsitration was clever enough to avoid the same “War on” label but its the same thing.

The War on Drugs initially by President Richard Nixon and US Congress and continued: Fail. The legalization to varying degrees by states of marijuana and the ease of availability suggests this failed also.

The U.S. also had the War on Poverty by President Lyndon B bing-bing-bing, Johnson and US Congress: Fail.

In the decade following the 1964 introduction of the war on poverty, poverty rates in the U.S. dropped to their lowest level since comprehensive records began in 1958: from 17.3% in the year the Economic Opportunity Act was implemented to 11.1% in 1973. They have remained between 11 and 15.2% ever since. It is important to note, however, that the steep decline in poverty rates began in 1959, 5 years before the introduction of the war on poverty (see figure 4 below).

Expect more aggressive policing, arrests, headlines, wasted tax money, civil liberties violations, larger bureaucracies in government and elsewhere, and failure.

Phil Gramm and Micheal Solon:

But it wasn’t only the tax cuts, and it wasn’t only Reagan. To his credit, President Carter led the most significant deregulatory effort in the postwar era, reducing the regulatory burden on truckers, railroads, airlines and telecommunications, along with the interest rates paid by financial institutions. Reagan built on this Carter legacy by eliminating price controls on domestic oil and natural gas. These actions enhanced overall economic efficiency and amplified the effects of the 1981 tax cut and the 1986 tax reform.

But then they end with a too-partisan conclusion:

Economic growth faded as President Obama raised taxes and smothered the economy with unprecedented regulatory burdens.

They conveniently ignore President Bush (43) regulatory and spending smothering. It helped to build the deep state and bureaucracy just as the Obama years did, and from which we are struggling to emerge.

 

 

Is, in a word, government.

All the passionate talk about the personalities and potential crimes of the presidential candidates has obscured debate about what the federal government actually does. Both Trump and Clinton promise to spend us to oblivion taking care of various collectivist groups: vets, seniors, farmers, military contractors, teachers, etc.

But that spending (and inevitable taxing) serves one overriding purpose: to make the people in Washington D.C. ever richer and more powerful. Its a bipartisan bonanza. Yes, the money will trickle down to those constituents I listed above. But the politicians, lobbyists, regulators, and other government employees take their cut first. All that money requires programs and administration. Who does that? Why the people who work in government. And what is the result?

Kevin Williamson explains. I tease you with this: “But Washington builds no iPhones. It doesn’t really build much of anything, and it doesn’t create any wealth — it just takes it.

Here.

Pols and regulators should butt-the-hell out of corporate mergers and other actions that disrupt the status-quo. See Democrat primary loser and hypocrite for supporting corporate shill Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders for example. Trump also said he opposes it.

Employees of the merging firms must figure out how best to serve their customers and shareholders.

Remember folks, firms have to work within the current regulatory and legal framework. If gov’t wants to do something useful it should deregulate telecom and scrap net neutrality. Those constrictions led the decision-makers in this deal to view a merger as a way to drive growth.

The interventionist fear is based on outdated definition of monopoly. Standard Oil’s so-called “monopoly” lowered kerosene prices “from 58 to 26 cents from 1865 to 1870. Competitors disliked the company’s business practices, but consumers liked the lower prices.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Oil.

Yet, some politicians and activists want to stop this merger because they are simply afraid of change.

You can let firms experiment and innovate to figure out how to serve customers and grow, or you can let politicians protect the status quo and continue with 1% GDP.

 

From AlternativePAC, a pro-Gary Johnson SuperPAC. Only two minutes, five seconds of your time. Some quotes:

“There’s been a fundamental paradigm shift. Power has been lifted from the elites and split between the people, through the internet. What do Uber, AirBnB, and Lyft all have in common? A way for the average user to maneuver around this top-down approach of rulers and rule-makers, legislators and regulators.”

“In the world of politics, mainstream media no longer controls the content. We use Twitter and blogs and Periscope to create context.”

“The internet has taught us the insider control the process”

“Liberty is real transpartisanship”

“Let’s unite liberty with community”

here.

NBC journalist Matt Lauer interviewed Hillary Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R) one after the other Wednesday night about being commander in chief.

Top NBC News brass were panicked after “Today” host Matt Lauer’s maligned performance quizzing presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the Intrepid Wednesday night. When critics widely panned his interviews, sources said NBC honchos were desperately spinning positive stories with little luck.

Both candidates tried to slither from Matt’s probing questions.

Here.

In the US, Libertarian party presidential candidate Gary Johnson and his running mate Bill Weld are hewing to a centrist message of socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Walter Olson has a piece here. Check this for the next section of this post.

In Europe liberal parties, often seen as the nearest analogue of libertarian, are often perceived in just this way as occupying centrist/middle positions between labor or revolutionary parties on the left and blood-and-soil or religious parties on the right. European liberal tendencies vary but often they’re secular, business oriented, pro-trade, modern, internationalist but not militarist, and interested in meliorist reform rather than street politics or national crusades. Sound familiar?

 

In France, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron is described in the video towards the bottom of this piece as a social and economic liberal (in the classical meaning of the word, not the statist, corrupted meaning in the US.

French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron has resigned from the government ahead of an expected centrist bid for the presidency in next year’s election.

 

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